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Business
Technology
Investing
Management & Marketing

Venture Stories

Updated 13 days ago

Business
Technology
Investing
Management & Marketing
Read more

Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg and produced by Brett Bolkowy. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.

Read more

Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg and produced by Brett Bolkowy. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.

iTunes Ratings

50 Ratings
Average Ratings
38
5
2
5
0

Erik

By gunther jbo - Aug 06 2019
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Great podcast. Very thoughtful. Erik - you do a terrific job but PLEASE talk slower and make a deliberate effort to do so. It’s extremely difficult to listen to. Please talk slower and with clarity. Dumb people in Silicon Valley talk fast.

One of the best tech podcasts

By experiencedfan000 - Jun 10 2019
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Like some others I discovered Venture Stories via the interview with Cyan (which was excellent). I subscribed to see if the episodes without big names are good and they are! The podcast (Erik) consistently has the best minds (famous and less famous) on and covers a variety of areas, from engineering, VC, blockchain, economics, science, health, etc. Podcast is one of a few that gets close to embodying the Silicon Valley (intellectual) community. “Twitter integration”: The podcast sort of reflects Silicon Valley twitter sphere and I like that. I also like how we always know how to find the guests on twitter. This is great as Silicon Valley is most alive as an intellectual community on twitter.

iTunes Ratings

50 Ratings
Average Ratings
38
5
2
5
0

Erik

By gunther jbo - Aug 06 2019
Read more
Great podcast. Very thoughtful. Erik - you do a terrific job but PLEASE talk slower and make a deliberate effort to do so. It’s extremely difficult to listen to. Please talk slower and with clarity. Dumb people in Silicon Valley talk fast.

One of the best tech podcasts

By experiencedfan000 - Jun 10 2019
Read more
Like some others I discovered Venture Stories via the interview with Cyan (which was excellent). I subscribed to see if the episodes without big names are good and they are! The podcast (Erik) consistently has the best minds (famous and less famous) on and covers a variety of areas, from engineering, VC, blockchain, economics, science, health, etc. Podcast is one of a few that gets close to embodying the Silicon Valley (intellectual) community. “Twitter integration”: The podcast sort of reflects Silicon Valley twitter sphere and I like that. I also like how we always know how to find the guests on twitter. This is great as Silicon Valley is most alive as an intellectual community on twitter.
Cover image of Venture Stories

Venture Stories

Updated 13 days ago

Read more

Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg and produced by Brett Bolkowy. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.

Rank #1: Crypto Stories: The Bull Case For Ethereum with Spencer Noon, Cyrus Younessi and Tony Sheng

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The guests on today’s episode are Spencer Noon (@spencernoon), an investor at Doggie Tail Crypto Capital and Cyrus Younessi (@cyounessi1), Director of Research and Trading at Scalar Capital.

Co-hosting today’s episode is Tony Sheng (@tonysheng) who leads product at Decentraland. He also publishes analyses on the business and strategy of crypto at tonysheng.com and is one of Village’s Network Leaders.

Spencer and Cyrus start out by laying out the theses underlying their bullishness on Ethereum. They give some context on Ethereum through a historical lens and discuss the properties that lend it to scaling well. They also debunk some of the common misconceptions about Ethereum.

The four talk about where they would like to see development focused within the Ethereum ecosystem, what obstacles Ethereum faces, and what an Ethereum-killer might look like.

They also discuss smart contracts and where Spencer and Cyrus disagree with the fat money crowd on the relative merits of Ethereum vs. Bitcoin as a store of value or as working capital.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Sep 10 2018
56 mins
Play

Rank #2: Live Episode: Keith Rabois on Career Strategy, Identifying Talent and Evaluating Markets

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This episode of Venture Stories was recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco in October 2018. Keith was interviewed by Village Global partner and co-founder, Erik Torenberg.

In the episode they cover a number of topics, and Keith (as usual) is very insightful.

Keith breaks down some of the successes that mentees of his have had over the past few years. Many of them came from non-technical backgrounds and non-elite schools. He talks about their career trajectory and which inflection points led to their advancement and how young people in similar situations can model their careers after them.

Erik explains the four dimensions over which he thinks about career building and where he thinks young people are over-optimizing.

Keith shares what Peter Thiel told him about hiring while the two were on a run around the Stanford campus shortly after Keith joined PayPal. He talks about how as a manager he challenges the people working for him, and why as an employee you should always want to feel like you’re pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of.

They move on to what makes a good startup idea and the three factors that Keith uses to evaluate business ideas.

They also take questions from the audience where Keith addresses work-life balance and why creating a startup is like casting and creating a movie.
Quotable lines from this episode:

“You don't want to be the best at what you do, you want to be the only one that does what you do.”

“If you’re going to start a company and if you believe that the team you build is the company you build — you want to have unfair advantage in evaluating people.”

“VC is one of the best jobs in the world if you’re intellectually curious.”

“[Working in VC] is like learning to play basketball with NBA all-stars.”

“When you want to make a decision, optimize on one variable. Don't make a pros and cons list.”
Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Oct 12 2018
1 hour 16 mins
Play

Rank #3: Live Episode: The Present and Future of Crypto with Naval Ravikant and Balaji Srinivasan

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In this special live episode of Venture Stories, Erik Torenberg interviews two special guests about the present and future of crypto: Naval Ravikant (@naval), CEO and co-founder of AngelList, and Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis), CTO of Coinbase.

They start with an overview of the history of organizing societies and the role of centralized decision-makers from kings to democracies and why decentralization — where no one in particular is in charge but everybody follows the rules — has so much potential. They talk about how this could be disruptive to a wide swath of society today, including areas like money, electricity, social networks, storage, and more. They explain why decentralization will "fulfill the original promise of the internet."

Erik asks how each of them got into the space after having had success in other areas. It’s pointed out that it’s very rare that something comes along that is “technologically interesting, socially revolutionary, and that can also make you very rich.” They move on to a discussion of the history of money, the three key functions that money provides (store of value, unit of account and medium of exchange) and how good a job current cryptocurrencies are doing at fulfilling those three functions. They also point out that VCs typically didn’t buy Ether, but it has provided a 700X return in just a few years, which is better than VCs returned on Google or Facebook.

They move on to what they see in the future for crypto and how it will change society at large. They paint a picture of a world where there might be virtual “instant jobs” available on-demand in a feed akin to the feeds in current social networks and where the “99%” will be investors, as opposed to the present where only 1% of individuals are investors. There might also exist in the future “instant companies” that can be created as easily as someone can create an account on a social network today and that programmable smart contracts might spread opportunity far and wide without the need for armies of lawyers and judges.

They explain what it means when they say that blockchain will create “an open financial system” and what they mean when they say it will be to the current financial system what Linux was to Windows. They also talk about what kinds of facts would change their mind about blockchain, the role of identity and anonymity in a crypto world, and the concept of a “personal burn rate.”

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Nov 16 2018
1 hour 4 mins
Play

Rank #4: What Tyler Cowen Thinks About Basically Everything

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In this extended episode of Venture Stories, Erik interviews Tyler Cowen (@tylercowen), professor of economics at George Mason University. They discuss about a wide range of topics, including Tyler’s book Stubborn Attachments, the value of watching sports, travel, Bitcoin, the Knicks, and Effective Altruism — among many, many others.

Tyler explains why he has only two “stubborn attachments” — human rights and economic growth. He takes us through his argument that there’s a moral imperative for economic growth. He talks about why economic growth is the greatest force for good in the world, why redistribution isn’t as effective as Effective Altruists would like, and why we dramatically underestimate the effects of compounding. He discusses some of the reactions to the book and why he says he’s “poked the left in the eye and poked the right in the eye” with Stubborn Attachments.

They discuss the reasons for the extraordinary economic growth of East Asian countries and what kinds of lessons the West could take from those examples. Tyler talks about whether religion has an impact on economic growth and why inequality isn’t as big a deal as it’s made out to be.

Erik asks Tyler what he would do if he could wave a magic wand and change a number of entities, including the US healthcare system, the Knicks, and the Department of Education. Tyler tells Erik whether he would buy Bitcoin and gives his thoughts on central banking and Austrian economics. He also explains why travel is so valuable and why “at the margins people should be more like anthropologists.”

Erik asks Tyler where his views diverge from those of a number of prominent intellectuals, including Thomas Piketty, Russ Roberts, Ayn Rand, and Glen Weyl. Tyler explains why he suspects the environment in which someone grew up influences their thinking style.

Tyler’s own podcast Conversations with Tyler has been a big inspiration to Erik and Venture Stories, so Erik concludes with an homage with a round of overrated vs. underrated and by asking Tyler what his production function is for the podcast.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Nov 30 2018
1 hour 56 mins
Play

Rank #5: Fat Monies: Anti-Contrarianism in Cryptocurrency Investing

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In a first-ever two-hour episode for Venture Stories by Village Global, Erik talks to two of the most interesting crypto thinkers around: Arjun Balaji (@arjunblj), crypto investor, trader and incubator, and Murad Mahmudov (@MustStopMurad), crypto analyst and angel investor.

In this wide-ranging and mind-expanding interview, the three discuss a number of topics relating to cryptocurrencies, effects on government, economic history, and predictions for the future, among many other things including:

- The arguments for Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies and whether Bitcoin can be toppled
- Why Bitcoin is less like digital gold and more like “digital nuclear weapons”
- Whether Bitcoin will be “the MySpace of money”
- A history of the Austrian school of economics
- The impacts of hard forks on a community
- How competition between monies accelerates capitalism
- Whether blockchain as a technology is overrated or underrated
- The parallels between cryptocurrency and the Asian construction bubble
- Institutional movement into cryptocurrencies
- The psyche of crypto hedge fund managers
- How crypto changes how countries compete for tax revenues

Quotable lines from this episode:

“The creation of a non-sovereign sound money system has the potential to be one of the most significant events in our lifetime.” - AB

“I view money as a good, just like anything else, and I don’t believe we have pure capitalism until we have competition among currencies.” - MM

“Cryptocurrencies in general and in particular Bitcoin are a higher quality form of money.” - MM

“Through the fat money lens, all tokens are cryptocurrencies.” - AB

“The whole market is like a prediction market for which one or few coins will be the long term money winner.” - MM

“Bitcoin is the Schelling point of the market”. - MM

“Despite all the fancy bells and whistles that blockchains enable, the fact that nobody can print more Bitcoin is the greatest innovation here.” - MM

“The idea that money has to be continuously in circulation is completely non-sensical.” -MM

“We’re not trying to build another PayPal here, we’re trying to disrupt central banking.” -MM

“Miners don’t control Bitcoin, businesses don’t control bitcoin, users and full nodes control Bitcoin.” - AB

“As time goes on, everyone is going to become a Bitcoin maximalist whether they like it or not.” - MM

“The number one thing that we can learn from economic history is that if there is an actor that can create more money, they will.” - AB

“If there’s free competition around money then the market would never naturally converge around something [the US Dollar] that is expanding at 6% a year. It’s totally irrational.”

“Just as we witnessed the separation of church and state, in the next 20-30 years we are going to witness the separation of money and state.” - MM

“People who say capitalism is dead or that we are entering the end of capitalism don’t know what they are talking about, because capitalism is going to go into overdrive.” -AB

“What previously took a 200-person team in 2000, took a 100-person team in 2007 and takes a 5- or 10-person team now.” - AB

“We’re entering an era where businesses will be able to be built and run on the internet by one person.” - AB

“These tokens suck as money or are absolutely and utterly useless.” -MM

“Almost all of these tokens were unethical fundraising scams by the founders.” - MM

“This whole thing [the ICO boom] was a form of IQ arbitrage, where people took advantage of these overvalued shit tokens… Do you want to walk around New York and use a different form of currency at each store?” - MM

“Erik, if you’re looking to hold your wealth in the equivalent of gift cards to the Gap, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” - AB

“The hype around blockchain is nothing more than an indicator that Silicon Valley is largely oriented less around the original counterculture movement and much moreso positioned as a form of opportunistic greed behaviours.” - AB

“The monetary premium that is embedded inside [altcoins] is purely psychosocial, it’s purely cognitive. It’s almost like an ongoing hallucination of our collective unconsciousness.” - MM

“The recurring selling of narratives that Murad mentioned is the core business of most crypto hedge funds. They’re not active traders, they’re just early investors that then sell the dream and then sell their bags on many retail investors.” - AB

“One of my favourite things that Murad has ever said is that blockchains don’t create revenues, they destroy revenues.” - AB

“If your product is open source and your rent is too high, you risk getting forked or re-architected by someone else charging less, and it becomes a race to the bottom.” - MM

“Let’s be honest, on-chain governance is essentially the rule of the rich.” - MM

“No governance is the best governance, or at least for neo-gold.” - MM

-

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Shawn Xu is our researcher, Colin Campbell is our audio engineer, and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Aug 10 2018
2 hours 1 min
Play

Rank #6: Episode #14: How To Recruit, Assess, and Retain The Best People For Your Startup With Keith Rabois and Jack Altman

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Erik talks to Keith Rabois (@rabois), Managing Director at Khosla Ventures and Jack Altman (@jaltma), CEO and co-founder of Lattice. Keith and Jack draw on their experience working at high-growth start-ups to explain how to attract the best people to your startup. They discuss how and when to hire and fire when you’re running an early stage company, the parallels between sports and work, and how to pick a co-founder. Jack says that he can tell a lot about a startup just by walking around the office and Keith tells us why a change in floor plan was the beginning of the end for his former company, Slide. Keith and Jack also discuss why “the best way to retain people is to win as a company.”

If you like what you hear, please review us on your favourite podcast platform. Thanks!

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast or on Twitter @villageglobal.
Jan 25 2018
1 hour 26 mins
Play

Rank #7: Anne Wojcicki on Direct-To-Consumer Healthcare and The Future of Digital Health

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We are honored to have Anne Wojcicki (@annewoj23), co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, among our small group of luminary LPs whose financial capital and engagement power the next wave of Village Global founders.

She joined us in Mountain View for an intimate fireside chat with the first Chief Data Scientist for the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy, DJ Patil (@dpatil).

They discussed:

- Why the US healthcare system is broken.

- The state of direct-to-consumer healthcare.

- Tailored medicine and the future of digital health.

- 23andMe’s drug discovery efforts and how continuous data monitoring can change how drugs are developed.

- The problem with clinical trials and how to fix them.

- How Anne would change the US healthcare system if she could wave a magic wand.

- The founding of 23andMe and the company’s philosophy.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Aug 11 2019
52 mins
Play

Rank #8: Value Hacking and How To Avoid The Fake Growth Epidemic with Mike Maples

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Erik is joined on this episode by Mike Maples (@m2jr) of Floodgate.

The talk about:

- The difference between fake growth and real growth, and how to know which one your company is experiencing.

- Why fake growth has taken hold in so many companies in the Valley, and its broader systemic causes.

- The difference between value hacking and growth hacking.

- Why once you’ve entered the growth stage, it’s next to impossible to go back to the value hacking stage.

- His thoughts on the Thiel vs. Rabois schools of markets.

- His tips for growing SaaS companies.

- How to think about incumbents.

- Why a pivot is not the same thing as a mulligan.

- The reasons for the fact that, in his opinion, there is too much money in VC.

- Why companies are staying private longer.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Grace Chen is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Jul 09 2019
1 hour 16 mins
Play

Rank #9: What Alex Danco Thinks About Basically Everything

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In this episode Alex Danco (@alex_danco) of Social Capital joins Erik to talk about Silicon Valley, economics, innovation, crypto, software and more. He is a very unique thinker with interesting opinions about the tech space.

Alex explains the influence of Peter Thiel and Rene Girard on his thinking. He explains what he means when he says the key to understanding the world is asking, "what is everyone is compelled to lie about?"

He gives a history of how innovation has traditionally proceeded in the world and explains how Silicon Valley — via software specifically — has changed the mechanism of innovation. He talks about how this has resulted in disproportionate gains accruing to the huge tech companies.

This new model of innovation has also changed how companies are valued. Alex breaks down the new metrics that are being used by VCs and founders to value their firms — and why this could be contributing to a new tech bubble.

Alex also talks about the economics of the Valley and why gains in productivity from technology have not resulted in increased leisure for the Valley's inhabitants.

He also talks about crypto, career strategy, cost disease, scooters, and much more.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Oct 19 2018
1 hour 57 mins
Play

Rank #10: The State and Future of Robotics, Machine Learning, and Digital Celebrities with Michael Dempsey

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Michael Dempsey (@mhdempsey), partner at Compound, joins Erik on this episode to talk through a wide array of sectors that he has delved into.

(We apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We had technical difficulties during recording).

They talk about:

- The model and approach at Compound, including how writing definitive blog posts about a particular industry fits into their investing strategy.

- The state of robotics today, including why he’s not as bullish on robots in warehouses as he once was, and how robots can potentially transform food and retail.

- Machine learning, its applications, and why it’s so difficult to reproduce the findings seen in research papers in the space.

- Different approaches to making self-driving cars work, and his predictions for the future of the industry.

- The state of the investment landscape for other applications of ML, including radiology, voice and phone calls, image recognition, and animation.

- Digital celebrities, identity, and how self-expression on the internet will change in the future.

- His deep dive into women’s health, family planning and reproductive health, and what kinds of opportunities exist in the space.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Aug 08 2019
1 hour 6 mins
Play

Rank #11: What Eugene Wei Thinks About Basically Everything

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This is a deep dive into the mind of Eugene Wei. Erik and Eugene discuss all kinds of topics, including the unique state of ambition in Silicon Valley, “apprenticeships” for white collar jobs, Eugene’s favorite fiction books, what he would do if he was running the New York Knicks, and much more.

They start by talking about the differences in extent and type of ambition between Silicon Valley and other places like New York or LA, as well as how you might spread the spirit of entrepreneurship that lives in the Valley further afield.

Eugene talks about the progression of his career and what kind of advice he would have for others. He talks about the twists and turns in his career and describes what it was like going back to film school after having worked at Amazon.

They talk about Eugene’s reading habits and the fact that he reads 20 non-fiction books at a time simultaneously. He also gives his recommendations on his favorite fiction books.

Eugene says that Jeff Bezos had a different young executive shadow him for a period of time and explains his idea of an “apprenticeship” for white collar jobs and the value of learning by observing.

They also have a round of underrated vs. overrated and Erik asks Eugene what he would do if he was running Medium, Spotify and the New York Knicks.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Oct 26 2018
56 mins
Play

Rank #12: Elad Gil on How to Evaluate Markets

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Elad Gil (@eladgil), entrepreneur and investor, joins Erik and co-host Anuj Abrol (@nujabrol), Chief of Staff to Justin Kan, for a discussion of all things markets.

They start off talking about Elad’s philosophy of life and career in general, including why he says that “less happens than you think in 2 years, and more happens than you think in 5 years.” He points out that it’s hard to predict the future and says it’s impossible to say where he will be or what he will be doing 10 years from now.

Elad has a different way of looking at potential companies and investments than most investors. Rather than starting with the quality of founders, he starts by evaluating the quality of the market. He explains why this is important and how it has led to success for him as an entrepreneur and investor.

He talks about what makes a good market, and why “most startup markets have to be definitionally non-obvious.” They contrast the “Rabois School of Markets” versus the “Thiel School of Markets” and Elad gives his opinion on which markets are currently being ignored by Silicon Valley.

They finish with a rapid-fire round where they name a market and Elad gives his take on it, including VR, longevity, consumer social, and others.

Quotable Lines From This Episode

“Starting a company, at least for first-time founders, can really be an act of desperation.” — Elad

“Startups tend to fail at thing big companies are good at.” — Elad

“I see a lot of things done in professional services that should just be SaaS software.”  — Elad

We apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We ran into technical difficulties during recording.
Apr 30 2019
1 hour 3 mins
Play

Rank #13: The State and Future of Fintech with Zach Perret and David Haber

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Erik is joined by Zach Perret (@zachperret), co-founder and CEO of Plaid, and David Haber (@dhaber), former co-founder and CEO of Bond Street, now at Goldman Sachs.

Zach and David talk about how they met and how they started their respective companies. They explain how to find out whether you are passionate enough about an idea to start a company around it: are you passionate about it enough to be willing to pound the table to get your mother-in-law to invest?

David points out that 90% of your work as a founder is selling — to investors, employees, customers, and many others. They talk about the future of financial services and fintech and make some predictions about what to expect in the space over the next several years. David and Zach share some tips for people building a company in the space on what works and what doesn’t, and how the space has evolved since they started their companies.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Apr 04 2019
55 mins
Play

Rank #14: What Noah Smith Thinks About Basically Everything

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Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) joins Erik on this episode. Noah is an economist and Bloomberg Opinion writer. The two have a wide-ranging discussion on a number of topics around tech, economics, politics, and more.

Noah explains why concern over big Silicon Valley tech companies is perhaps overblown. They discuss cryptocurrency and why in Noah’s opinion the Austrian economists have it wrong. He also explains why he is not a fan of techno-libertarianism and runs through the gun as historical example of why technologists shouldn’t just build new tech to circumvent laws they don’t like.

The two talk about why the government drives more innovation than it commonly gets credit for, what kinds of policies Noah would implement to reduce inequality, including why he would like to see an inheritance tax. Erik also asks about charter cities and Noah explains why they are a great idea in theory but that they will be a “hard sell.”

Erik asks about a blog post of Noah’s from 2015 that seems quite prescient given the current moment, in which he describes a cycle of history involving globalization, financialization, economic decline, political polarization, leading to feuding between the right and the left. He talks about which stage he thinks we are in today and some of the historical parallels between the current moment and earlier eras in which war later broke out.

Erik also asks what Noah would do if he could change anything about how education is delivered in America, why Noah says that UBI could be potentially destructive, and how his criticisms of macroeconomics have evolved.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Dec 19 2018
1 hour 40 mins
Play

Rank #15: What Alex Tabarrok Thinks About Basically Everything

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Alex Tabarrok (@ATabarrok), economist and author, joins Erik on this episode for a wide-ranging discussion.

They talk about:

- The contributions of economics to society over the past several decades and the biggest challenges ahead for the field

- What “the great forgetting” means in economics and why bad ideas from the past keep coming back

- The arguments for open borders

- Why Alex thinks we should focus on increasing the number of police as opposed to increasing punishment for offenders

- Whether the US or China will pull ahead in the next decades

- Whether capitalism and democracy are compatible

- Why “democracy is not the secret sauce to riches”

- The merits of inductive versus deductive thinking

- Why he thinks too few robots, not too many, is the cause of low wages

- His thoughts on cost disease

- How he would change academia, the FDA, healthcare, the tax code, and other areas if he could wave a magic wand

- The ways in which he thinks differently from other economists

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Aug 01 2019
1 hour 56 mins
Play

Rank #16: The Present and Future of D2C with Ooshma Garg and Micah Rosenbloom

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On this episode Erik is joined by Ooshma Garg (@ooshma), CEO of Gobble, and Micah Rosenbloom, (@micahjay1) partner at Founder Collective.

They talk about big changes in the food landscape over the past several years. Ooshma points out that people in Silicon Valley often underestimate just how massive the food space is until they realize how many component parts it has. They discuss the new wave of vertically integrated food companies acting as both producer and distributor of their product. Ooshma explains how they have differentiated themselves at Gobble and what her vision is going forward.

They break down some of the changes in grocery stores over the past several years and why they are now “more like buffets” in Micah’s words. They also discuss some of the difficulties in an “atoms-based” business that software businesses don't have to contend with.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Jan 07 2019
43 mins
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Rank #17: Mental Models with Scott Page

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Erik is joined on this episode by Scott Page (@Scott_E_Page), professor at the University of Michigan and author of The Model Thinker.

They talk about:

* The idea of the wisdom of crowds.

* Why cognitive diversity is important for a wise crowd.

* Whether individual experts or groups of ordinary people make better predictions.

* Which mental models VCs should be using.

* Why Scott says “mastery is knowing when to use the right mental model at the right time.”

* Why, if you’re watching basketball, you may as well be watching people roll a die.

... and much more.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
May 26 2019
47 mins
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Rank #18: Requests For Startups: Mental Health with Mark Goldenson

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Mark Goldenson (@goldenson), Village Global Network Leader, creator of VentureKit, and formerly founder and CEO of Breakthrough, joins Erik to talk about his requests for startups in the mental health space and in digital health more broadly.

Mark recounts his entrepreneurial journey so far, including his experience at Breakthrough, a mental health startup he created and ran that was later acquired. He talks about the four key problems in mental health and how connecting therapists and clients through the internet can solve those problems.

He explains how they tackled the problem in a unique way at Breakthrough and explains some of the nuances of operating in the health market. He points out that health is not a product-driven market and that at Breakthrough, instead of running a technology company as they had intended, they were running (virtual) clinics.

They talk about telehealth and what opportunities exist in digital health more broadly. He also lists some of his requests for startups, including the intriguing idea of a “Fitbit for mood.”

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Mar 07 2019
44 mins
Play

Rank #19: The History and Future of Bitcoin with Dan Held

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Erik is joined on this episode by Dan Held (@danheld), co-founder of Interchange. He was an early advocate of Bitcoin in San Francisco and is an influential writer in the space. Dan and Erik cover the history of Bitcoin, discuss some of Dan’s most interesting blog posts, and talk about what the future might hold for crypto.

Dan explains why Satoshi had a brilliant go-to-market strategy with Bitcoin. He talks about the reasons why various aspects of Bitcoin were set up the way they were, including the hard cap on the number of Bitcoin and why there is no set inflation rate.

Dan explains why mining takes so much electricity, and says that the walls around fiat money that would normally take the form of a vault are instead built virtually using that energy. He contrasts proof of work and proof of stake systems and talks about the trends in Silicon Valley’s perception of the space over the last several years.

They also talk about the future, including a discussion the Lightning network, whether micro-payments will take hold, and why there are so many projects with interesting ideas but without many users (and what might change that).

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
May 14 2019
1 hour 19 mins
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Rank #20: Social Media, Journalism, and New Religions with Antonio Garcia Martinez and Parker Thompson

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On this episode Erik is joined by Antonio Garcia Martinez (@antoniogm), author of Chaos Monkeys, and Parker Thompson (@pt), partner at AngelList. Parker is a returning fan-favorite. Erik describes Antonio’s Chaos Monkeys as half Michael Lewis of Silicon Valley and half Hunter S. Thompson. It's a great read.

Parker and Antonio debate whether the corrosion of discourse and the rise of fake news are a result of specific features of social media, like the News Feed, or whether they are a result of humans being interconnected instantly via smartphones. Antonio argues that WhatsApp is “the perfect foil to Facebook” but that it is still a distribution platform for fake news.

They discuss why two people can see the same high-quality video of the same event, but still draw opposing conclusions on who was the “victim” and who was the “perpetrator.” They discuss the need for media literacy, the difference between media and journalism, and how Twitter and Facebook might be fixed.

They talk about the change in sentiment about social media on the left and the right through the years, starting with the election of Obama, through the Arab Spring, to Trump. They also discuss moral relativism between the US's political parties and the dichotomy of Bay Area political views.

The three close with a discussion about the religious instinct that seems to be an innate part of the human psyche, even if it doesn’t always manifest via organized religions. They talk about new manifestations of religion in today’s social movements and talk about the crazy fact that there are actual “religious startups” that pitch new churches to "VCs."

Political Ideology Diagram Mentioned By Parker

https://twitter.com/hamandcheese/status/991408394941665285

Books and Articles Mentioned In This Episode

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America by Daniel Boorstin

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman

Seven Types of Atheism by John Ray

Marshall McLuhan’s Playboy Interview in 1969: https://www.nextnature.net/2009/12/the-playboy-interview-marshall-mcluhan/

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Jan 28 2019
1 hour 2 mins
Play

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