AdExchanger
AdExchanger
Apr 6, 2020
Social Distancing With Friends: John Nardone
Play • 25 min

Digital advertising OG and Flashtalking CEO John Nardone talks about leading a company during a time of upheaval. He digs in on the importance of over-communicating, and why you need to over-prepare when meeting clients on Zoom.

He also gets into the new business environment the ad tech universe is facing.

North Star Podcast
North Star Podcast
David Perell
Tiago Forte and Will Mannon: Building Cohort-Based Courses
I have two guests today: Tiago Forte and Will Mannon. Tiago is my business partner and the creator of an online course called Building a Second Brain. The two of us record a podcast like this every year to reflect on what we’ve learned about the online education industry. And this time, we invited our Director of Student Experience: Will Mannon. Will oversees all aspects of the student experience with the exception of curriculum design. He’s at the frontier of thinking about live online learning, from how assignments should be delivered to how live sessions should be structured. ____________________________ Show Notes 3:21 - Why hiring your first employee is one of the most important steps you'll take in your business. 5:38 - How sharing a workforce and resources with another business or entrepreneur can help fast-track personal and professional growth. 11:00 - How running an online course is like organizing a music tour. 13:30 - The role of the alumni mentors in Tiago's courses, and how they have changed from his first to his most recent cohort. 17:16 - What different mentors can bring to the table and why the differences between them all brings strength to the program. 21:03 - Why giving as many people as possible the ability to lead allows much more effective learning for everyone. 25:04 - The nature of burnout and why creatives are so prone to experiencing it. 31:04 - Discovering the right size for a cohort and how to scale effectively. 37:13 - How to help students find each other and make meaningful and lifelong connections with each other. 40:28 - The "beer mode" and "coffee mode" of productivity. 44:32 - How to increase your focus by never giving yourself enough time. 51:02 - Why David and Will organize Write of Passage to have attendees "come for the ideas and stay for the people". 56:23 - Why running a course should be about empowering leadership in students, not in building dependence on the teacher. 1:02:33 - Why the element of shock is so fundamental to deep learning. 1:06:43 - How friendship can come so readily out of hardship and pain. 1:11:33 - The unusual growth of David and Tiago's online brand this year and what sparked it. 1:14:45 - Why writing a book summary for Tiago is so integral in internalizing the information and the message contained within it. 1:24:22 - What hands-on education and perseverance in the face of extreme difficulty can teach us that traditional education never can. 1:32:30 - What we can learn about education from businesses and markets outside of the educational sphere. 1:36:33 - Why success in a new business should not be focusing on competition, but on radical differentiation. 1:39:23 - The importance of finding your community online and curating it to inspire and inform you.
1 hr 45 min
In Depth
In Depth
First Round
Plaid & Dropbox’s Jean-Denis Grèze’s playbook for building an engineering culture of ownership
Today’s episode is with Jean-Denis Grèze, Head of Engineering at Plaid, which securely connects your bank to your apps. Before joining Plaid, Jean-Denis served as Director of Engineering at Dropbox, and even had a stint in law school and one year as a lawyer under his belt before diving deep into the world of CS. While he says becoming a lawyer was a “four-year detour he probably didn’t need,” there’s a lot to be said for how it’s shaped his engineering career and management philosophy. As he puts it, he strongly favors pragmatism over perfection, and it’s something he hammers home within his engineering teams. In today’s conversation, Jean-Denis pulls on threads from across his career to weave together a modern playbook for engineering leadership — and the hard-won lessons that stick with him. He also shares his insights on why his engineering org doesn’t have titles, the one question he asks every engineering manager candidate, and how his team prioritizes technical debt and keeping the lights on versus sexy, brand-new projects. Today’s conversation is a must-listen for technical leaders or those who are eyeing the engineering leadership track. From motivating a team to tracking the right KPIs, Jean-Denis has got tons of great tactics and stories from his time at Plaid and Dropbox for you to learn from. You can email us questions directly at review@firstround.com or follow us on Twitter @twitter.com/firstround and @twitter.com/brettberson
57 min
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton Fintech Podcast
Sam Bobley, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocrolus - Transforming Documents into Data Analytics
Miguel Armaza sits down with Sam Bobley, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocrolus, an infrastructure company that transforms documents into data analytics with incredible accuracy designed to help financial services companies make high quality decisions at unprecedented speed. Sam started building Ocrolus in his parent’s kitchen when he was only 22 and seven years later, the company employs nearly 1,000 people globally and has raised close to $50 million in equity from top VC funds, including Stage 2 Capital, QED, Fintech Collective, Oak HC/FT, and Bullpen Capital. We talked about: - Company origins - Sam’s entrepreneurial journey - Strategies on building and hiring the initial team - Finding product-market fit and how he decided to shift and expand his client base - The fast-changing and fast-moving fintech ecosystem - Entrepreneurial advice - And a whole lot more Sam Bobley Sam started building Ocrolus in his parent’s kitchen when he was 22-years-old. Six years later, the company employs nearly 1,000 people globally, spread across four offices. As Ocrolus matured, Sam authored a patent application and helped raise more than $30 million in venture capital. He was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Finance, Class of 2020. About Ocrolus Ocrolus is a human-in-the-loop infrastructure company that transforms documents into data analytics with over 99% accuracy. Ocrolus technology is designed to help financial services companies make high quality decisions with trusted data and unprecedented speed. Inc. Magazine recognized Ocrolus as the #1 fastest-growing fintech nationwide, and the #1 fastest-growing software company in NY. Visit ocrolus.com to learn more.
32 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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