After Hours
After Hours
Apr 22, 2020
Apple and Google Team Up for Contact Tracing, and the Federal Reserve’s Rescue Plan
Play • 36 min

Youngme Moon, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, and Mihir Desai debate Apple and Google’s Covid-19 contact tracing plan. They also discuss the Federal Reserve, which has taken a series of unprecedented actions to prop up the economy.

Recent picks, and recommended reading/websites:

Listeners are invited to join our mailing list by signing up here: After Hours Sign-Up. You can visit our website at HarvardAfterHours.com. You can email your comments and ideas for future episodes to: harvardafterhours@gmail.com. You can follow Youngme and Mihir on Twitter at: @YoungmeMoon and @DesaiMihirA.

Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton Fintech Podcast
Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder of Fundbox - Disrupting B2B Financing
Miguel Armaza sits down with Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Fundbox, a company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world’s first B2B payments and credit network. Since its inception in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million dollars from leading investors like Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos. We talked about - Company origins - Customer acquisition and distribution strategies - Entrepreneurial challenges - Reflections around the PPP loan program in the US and the company’s incredibly meaningful role at the height of COVID to disburse and fund these loans to small businesses. - His thoughts on the key and strategic roles of fintech and tech during the pandemic - Lessons for entrepreneurs - And a whole lot more! Eyal Shinar Eyal Shinar is the Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Fundbox. Prior to his current role he served as a vice president at Battery Ventures where he led many projects and investments in the areas of finance, machine learning and software as a service. Additionally, Shinar was one of the first employees of Old Lane, a $5.5 billion New York-based global hedge fund (later acquired by Citigroup), and also worked for Castle Harlan, a leading $6 billion NYC-based buyout firm. Shinar earned his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. About Fundbox Fundbox is a leading financial technology company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world’s first B2B payments and credit network. With heavy investments in machine learning and the ability to innovatively analyze transactional data, Fundbox is reimagining B2B payments and credit products in new category-defining ways. Fundbox has received numerous accolades for innovation including the prestigious Forbes A.I. 50, Red Herring North American 100, Forbes Fintech 50, CB Insights Fintech 250, Benzinga 2019 Fintech Listmakers, Forbes Billion Dollar Startup To Watch among others. Since the company’s founding in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million from a blue-chip group of investors led by Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos.
31 min
The Future of Everything presented by Stanford Engineering
The Future of Everything presented by Stanford Engineering
Stanford Radio
Karen Liu: How robots perceive the physical world
Stanford’s Karen Liu is a computer scientist who works in robotics. She hopes that someday machines might take on caregiving roles, like helping medical patients get dressed and undressed each day. That quest has provided her a special insight into just what a monumental challenge such seemingly simple tasks are. After all, she points out, it takes a human child several years to learn to dress themselves — imagine what it takes to teach a robot to help a person who is frail or physically compromised? Liu is among a growing coterie of scientists who are promoting “physics-based simulations” that are speeding up the learning process for robots. That is, rather than building actual robots and refining them as they go, she’s using computer simulations to improve how robots sense the physical world around them and to make intelligent decisions under changes and perturbations in the real world, like those involved in tasks like getting dressed for the day. To do that, a robot must understand the physical characteristics of human flesh and bone as well as the movements and underlying human intention to be able to comprehend when a garment is or is not going on as expected. The stakes are high. The downside consequence could be physical harm to the patient, as Liu tells _Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything_ podcast hosted by bioengineer Russ Altman. Listen and subscribe here.
28 min
a16z Podcast
a16z Podcast
Andreessen Horowitz
Developers as Creatives
The rise of developers -- as buyers, as influencers, as a _creative_ class -- is a direct result of "software eating the world", and of key shifts in IT from on-prem to cloud & SaaS to the API economy, where application programming interfaces are essentially building blocks for innovation. Developers therefore not only play an outsized role in high-performing tech companies -- but managing and motivating them is actually critical in ALL companies, since every company is a tech company (whether they know it or not). As every industry turns digital, and a company's interface to their customers IS software, "asking" one's developer is the key to solving business problems and to thriving not just surviving, argues Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder of cloud communications platform-as-a-service company Twilio, in his new book, _Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century._ So in this episode of the a16z Podcast in conversation with Sonal Chokshi and David Ulevitch (who previously argued "the developer's way" is the future of work), Lawson shares hard-earned lessons learned, mindsets, strategies, and tactics -- from "build vs. buy" to "build vs. die", to the art and science of small teams ("mitosis") -- for leaders and companies of all sizes. But what does it mean to truly treat developers as creatives within an organization? What does it mean to be "developer first"? And how does this affect customers, product, go-to-market? All this and more in this episode.
33 min
BCG Henderson Institute
BCG Henderson Institute
BCG Henderson Institute
Book Interview: The Six New Rules of Business with Judy Samuelson
Judy Samuelson is executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. She previously worked in legislative affairs in California, banking in New York’s garment center, and ran the Ford Foundation’s office of program-related investments. In her new book, The Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World, she explores how societal shifts in recent decades have upended the traditional rules of business, calling into question the business’s purpose and its role in society and offering new rules for how to make businesses successful in their new social contexts. In a conversation with Martin Reeves, Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, Samuelson discusses insights from her new book and emphasizes the role of business education in changing the business ecosystem for the better. *** About the BCG Henderson Institute The BCG Henderson Institute is the Boston Consulting Group’s think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, economics, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration, sign up to receive BHI INSIGHTS, our monthly newsletter, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
25 min
Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Bitcoin
We had to do it. After 12 years and 3,000,000x appreciation, we kick off Season 8 with the best investment of all-time and our biggest episode ever: Bitcoin. From the first bitcoin transaction of 10k for two Papa John's pizzas (worth about $350m today!!) to $40k+ BTC and maybe the moon beyond, we cover the whole crazy, improbable journey of how a single 8-page PDF document changed the world of money — and perhaps the world itself — forever. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny * Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch * http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The Bitcoin Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/bitcoin ) 1. Technological paradigm shifts are ideal opportunities for attacking incumbents. * The traditional finance system worked fantastically well for 500 years, but it wasn't built for the internet. The fact that sharing your bank account or credit card number is required in order to transact, but there's no really robust way to protect against fraud when doing so, provided the perfect seam for a new entrant. Bitcoin and its creators saw this shortcoming and created a new form of money that worked like email. 2. In the early days of a network-effect system, usage matters more than use-cases. * Because the value of a network grows as a function of Metcalfe's Law (value = # of engaged participants squared), in the early days simply growing the number of engaged participants matters more than the specifics of what those participants are actually doing. As the network's value grows, it will become attractive to successively more groups of users and use cases. * Bitcoin started as the domain of researchers and fringe libertarians, then illicit transactions (Silk Road), then speculation (the ICO boom) before finally reaching adoption by the mainstream investment community. Each wave built enough monetary value in the network to make it attractive to the next set of users. Similarly Facebook went from sharing photos of attractive undergrads to how billions communicate, and Airbnb went from ratty airbeds to ~10x larger than any hotel chain, all within a few short years. 3. Distributing network value out to its participants creates large incentives for adoption. * Rewarding miners with bitcoin itself created a huge incentive for participants to join and stay in the Bitcoin network. Although this dynamic got a bad rap during the ICO bubble when it was overused and overpromised by grifters and scammers, it remains a powerful strategy and will likely be used more going forward. * Perhaps most excitingly, this incentive unlocks massive new potential for open-source software development: people who work on open-source software (or provide other functions) can now receive direct value for their contributions, without being employed in any traditional sense. 4. Just HODL, baby. (aka let your winners run) * You can get rich quickly by getting in early on a winning investment. But you can only get really rich by holding a compounding asset for an extended period of time. Sequoia learned this lesson painfully with its Apple investment in the 1970's: selling its entire position for just a ~$6m profit within a few years. Similarly, anyone who bought 1,000 bitcoin for $10 a piece in 2012 could have sold them for $1m four years later in 2016. But four years on from that, they're now worth $35 million. If you continue to believe Bitcoin has a bright longterm future (which, to be fair, you may not!), what could they be worth in 2024? 5. We're only just realizing the implications of digital scarcity. * For its entire existence before Bitcoin, computing and the internet was all about turning scarcity into abundance. (via infinitely replicable + easily distributable software and other digital goods) For the first time in history, Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain have introduced the opposite: scarce, non-replicable digital assets. Native digital currency (Bitcoin) and smart contracts (Ethereum) are the first big outcomes of this advancement, but there may be many more seismic shifts to come. Links: * Satoshi's Whitepaper: https://www.bitcoin.com/bitcoin.pdf * Matt Huang's "Bitcoin for the Open-Minded Skeptic": https://www.paradigm.xyz/Bitcoin_For_The_Open_Minded_Skeptic.pdf * Nellie Bowles's "Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not": https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/style/bitcoin-millionaires.html * Square’s $50m investment in BTC: https://images.ctfassets.net/2d5q1td6cyxq/5sXNrlEh2mEnTvvhgtYOm2/737bcfdc15e2a1c3cbd9b9451710ce54/Square_Inc._Bitcoin_Investment_Whitepaper.pdf Episode Sources: * Full list of episode sources available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16QCDNm2qzG3Bn5h1j1KXisxL_JGT7egDx7czX9ThHLY/edit?usp=sharing
3 hr 12 min
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