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First Text with Cory Levy
Uncovering the hidden, behind the scenes thoughts and actions of successful people. Formerly known as OFF RCRD.
May 20, 2020
ANN MIURA-KO - VC at Floodgate (Lyft, Refinery29, and more)
Learn more about Ann here: https://floodgate.com/ann-miura-ko/ https://twitter.com/annimaniac
Sep 23, 2019
35 - TILMAN FERTITTA - Owner of the Houston Rockets and CEO of Landry's
This week, Cory speaks to self-made billionaire, owner of the Houston Rockets and chairman of a hospitality and entertainment empire encompassing over 600 restaurants, various casinos and even amusement parks. Some of his famous restaurants you may of heard of include Morton’s Steak House, Chart House, Dos Caminos, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and more. Fertitta shares the secrets to his success in his new business book, Shut Up and Listen! In this week's episode, he talks about his upbringing, where he got his earliest business lessons, what it feels like to be on the Forbes 400 list of richest people on the planet and the importance of adapting to new technological cycles in business.
Sep 18, 2019
34 | MARC RANDOLPH - Co-Founder of Netflix
Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for a service that’s grown to 150 million subscribers, and fundamentally altered how the world experiences media. He also served on the Netflix board of directors until retiring from the company in 2003. Marc’s career as an entrepreneur spans four decades. He’s founded or co-founded six other successful startups, mentored hundreds of early stage entrepreneurs, and as an investor has helped seed dozens of successful tech ventures (and just as many unsuccessful ones). Most recently, he co-founded analytics software company Looker Data Sciences, where he now serves as director. Outside of the tech and startup world, Marc sits on the boards of Chubbies Shorts, Augment Technologies, the environmental advocacy group 1% For The Planet, and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), which he’s been involved with for most of his life. A resident of Santa Cruz, California, Marc travels and speaks all over the world, and still probably manages to go surfing more than you do.
Sep 17, 2019
33 | ADAM GRANT (Wharton professor & New York Times bestselling author) - Science of becoming well-known, Challenging the status quo, & more.
This week, Cory speaks to renowned psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant. Adam is Wharton's top-rated professor and one of the world's 10 most influential management thinkers and a member of Fortune's 40 under 40. He's also the author of three New York Times bestsellers such as Give and Take, Option B and Originals, which combined have sold over a million copies. In this week's episode, Adam talks about how to strive for an extraordinary career, the science of becoming well-known, how to build an audience with no agent or publisher backing, the landscape of education and more.
Sep 17, 2019
32 | MARISSA MAYER: Internapalooza keynote (former CEO of Yahoo and #20 employee at Google)
In this episode we hear from technology executive and entrepreneur Marissa Mayer, who is known for formerly serving as the President and CEO of Fortune 500 giant Yahoo and being the 20th employee of Google. She is currently the co-founder of Lumi Labs, an early stage technology incubator. Marissa recently gave a keynote address at Internpalooza 2018, an event which is the largest gathering of Silicon Valley interns, young engineers and STEM students, which was founded by Cory Levy. It was a great chance for her to speak about when she graduated and how she decided where to work, which lead to her extraordinarily successful career.
Sep 17, 2019
31 | DANIEL GROSS: Investing in Coinbase, Cruise, & Github, Daniel's new project, and Y Combinator
This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur and angel investor Daniel Gross. Daniel is the founder of Pioneer (an experimental fund that breaks down barriers to find the next great humans through tournaments and mentorship) and runs YC AI. Prior to this, he co-founded Cue, a personal search engine that was acquired by Apple. He is also a successful angel investor being involved with Coinbase, Cruise Automation, Github, Opendoor and more. In this week's episode, he talks about being admitted into Y-Combinator at just the age of 18, how to create life changing opportunities, the launch of his new company Pioneer, importance of celebrating victories, plus many more.
Sep 17, 2019
30 | ELAD GIL - Serial Entrepreneur and Investor in Airbnb, Coinbase, Stripe, Pinterest, Square, and more.
This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur, technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil. Elad has assisted in the growth of tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've developed from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved that Elad has packaged into a repeatable playbook called "High Growth Handbook.” In this week's episode, Elad talks about why he invested in Airbnb early on, how to achieve product market fit and what to do after it, how to decide what to work on, recruiting for scale, how to pick the right executives while in a high growth company, and weird but exciting industries he's looking at.
Sep 17, 2019
29 | ALEX BANAYAN - Author of the #1 international bestseller THE THIRD DOOR
This week, Cory speaks to author and keynote speaker Alex Banayan. Banayan is the author of the highly anticipated book release of “The Third Door,” which covers a decade-long journey tracking down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg and dozens of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers. The Third Door is available in bookstores everywhere, including Amazon, iBooks, Audible and thirddoorbook.com. In this week’s episode, Banayan talks about coming up with the idea for his book as a college student, funding his book by hacking The Price is Right, common traits of successful people, a 2-year journey of landing an interview with Bill Gates, and more. “SOMETIMES STATISTICS CAN BE REALLY MISLEADING BECAUSE THEY’RE ASSUMING THAT THERE ARE NO WAYS TO IMPACT THE VARIABLES.” As a pre-med student destined to become a doctor, Alex Banayan was miserable. “I was laying on this dorm room bed staring at these biology books, feeling like they were dementors sucking the life out of me.” Instead of his textbooks, Alex really wanted to read a book on how successful people got to where they are now. Since that book didn’t exist, the then 18-year-old set out to write it himself. But before he could write the book of his dreams, he had to earn enough money to support himself while writing it. Instead of studying for his finals, Alex decided to test his luck on The Price is Right. The odds were against him even getting called down to compete on Price is Right, but Alex spent all night learning how to “hack” the show and beat the odds. “Sometimes statistics can be really misleading because they’re assuming that there are no ways to impact the variables,” said Alex. Alex impacted those variables and won prizes worth over $30,000. But this was just the first step of what became The Third Door.
Sep 17, 2019
28 | JD Ross - Co-Founder of $3b+ OpenDoor
This week, Cory Levy speaks to entrepreneur JD Ross, co-founder of OpenDoor, a company that makes it possible to sell a home in minutes. Opendoor has raised a total of $320 million in venture funding and has surpassed a multi-billion dollar annual revenue run rate. Before Opendoor, Jd started 2 successful businesses during college and went on to lead growth as the VP of Product at Addepar. In this week’s episode, JD and Cory talk about JD’s college experience, avoiding bankruptcy, landing in Silicon Valley, and how to accelerate your personal growth curve. “MY LIFE HACK IS JUST THE WILLINGNESS TO DO THE THINGS THAT ARE SIMPLE AND HARD; SLEEP EIGHT HOURS A DAY, EAT HEALTHILY, BE NICE TO MY GIRLFRIEND, SPEND TIME IN THE GYM.” Entrepreneur JD Ross uses his curiosity to his advantage. “My superpower is just an incredible level of curiosity. I just get obsessed with certain things and dive as deep as I possibly can,” says Jd. He has used this superpower to quickly understand extremely complicated industries and business models. Four years ago, Jd Ross and three co-founders launched Opendoor, a company that gives homeowners the option to sell a home online in just minutes. The company has raised a total of $320 million in venture funding and has exceeded $1B in annual home purchase rate. Before starting Opendoor, Jd founded two startups while in school at Washington University and soon became employee number five at Addepar.
Sep 17, 2019
27 | SCOTT BELSKY - Founder of Behance and Chief Product Officer at Adobe
This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur, author and early-stage investor Scott Belsky, who is well known for co-creating the online portfolio platform Behance, which later sold to Adobe in 2012 and wrote top-selling books ‘Making Ideas Happen’ and ‘Maximize The Middle’. Scott is currently the co-founder of referral network startup Prefer, he is the Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President at Adobe and a Venture Partner at Benchmark. He is also a seed investor with over 100 investments which range from Pinterest to Uber. In this week’s episode, he takes us back to when he landed a job at Goldman Sachs, how current graduates should decided where to work, when he quit to start Behance, how to turn an idea into a product, convincing talent to work for you and his first investment (which was Pinterest). “DON’T OPTIMIZE (YOUR WORK) FOR THE ADDITIONAL BUCK, ESPECIALLY EARLY IN YOUR CAREER. JUST DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO GET INCREMENTALLY CLOSER TO WHAT YOU’RE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN.”