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re:verb

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re:verb

Calvin Pollak and Alex Helberg

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re:verb is a podcast about politics, culture, and language in action, featuring interviews and segments from scholars, writers, critics, and activists in the humanities, social sciences, and outside the academy.
 
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Rohit Krishnan (@krishnanrohit), venture capitalist and author of the blog Strange Loop Cannon, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways: - Many of the people at the top of their fields today say they would never get hired if they were just starting out today. Today’s selection process at elite institutions has become more stringent but has dropped th…
 
We explore the hot-button issue of corruption in elite colleges. Sahaj Sharda, author of the upcoming book, “The College Cartel”, breaks down this complex topic and provides an examination of the current state of elite higher education. Whether you are a student, a parent, or simply curious about the inner workings of the elite college system, this…
 
Lorin Gu, founding partner of Recharge Capital, joins Olga Serhiyevich, Head of Investor Relations at Village Global to discuss: - Why Recharge structures its investing thematically, rather than by asset class. - The three themes that they believe have multi-decade headwinds behind them: semiconductors, women’s health, and fintech/crypto. - What Lo…
 
Alex Chalunkal is Chief Investment Officer at a family office where he manages a $1B+ portfolio focused on impact, venture, and climate tech investing. He was interviewed by Olga Serhiyevich, Head of Investor Relations at Village Global. Takeaways: - Alex says that the consensus is that there will be a mild recession in 2023. - He says that the ene…
 
Alex Budak is a social entrepreneur, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business professor, and author of “Becoming a Changemaker: An Actionable, Inclusive Guide to Leading Positive Change at Any Level”. This conversation is an invitation to get unstuck. Alex shares accessible principles and frameworks needed to lead impactful changes in lives and communit…
 
Are you winning bigly? No? Neither is Scott Adams, the infamous cartoonist, blogger, and self-proclaimed “expert predictor”, whose formerly ubiquitous comic strip Dilbert was recently pulled from national syndication. In September, Dilbert featured “anti-woke” content caricaturing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the corporate world,…
 
Ian Bremmer (@ianbremmer), president and founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media joins Olga Serhiyevich (@olgaserhi), Head of Investor Relations at Village Global for a conversation about global geopolitical trends and their impact on technology. Takeaways: - Ian has been in the room with world leaders as they make decisions about how to prepare f…
 
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the only two-time winner of the Thinkers 50 Award for #1 Leadership Thinker in the World. He is the pioneer of the 360° feedback development tool and has been ranked as the #1 Executive Coach in the World and a Top Ten Business Thinker for the past eight years. In his coaching practice, Marshall has advised more than 200 m…
 
“A.I. Is Making It Easier Than Ever for Students to Cheat,” proclaims Slate. The Chronicle of Higher Education asks, rhetorically: “Will Artificial Intelligence Kill College Writing?” And the New York Times warns: “A.I. is Mastering Language. Should We Trust What It Says?” Judging by media coverage of A.I. writing algorithms, you would think they’r…
 
Mo Islam (@itsmoislam), co-founder of Payload Space, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - There is no doubt that we are in the early stages of the space economy, Mo says. - The cost to go to Mars will be paid many times over by the young engineers who will be inspired by the mission. - There are three main buckets in the…
 
Leigh Marz is a consultant and leadership coach. Justin Zorn is a former policy maker and meditation teacher in the US Congress. They are the co-authors of “Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise”. In their book, they redefine silence as a presence that brings us energy, clarity, and deeper connection. We explore noise overload, the resto…
 
Ari Schuler, CEO of goTenna, and Andrea Garrity, Chief Growth Officer of goTenna, join Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon join us on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - goTenna was founded after Hurricane Sandy when a brother and sister didn’t know if the other was safe because the cell network weren’t working. It has since grown into the company tha…
 
For this year’s Halloween special, we wanted to take a journey through the filmography of one of our favorite film directors, Jordan Peele. From the breakout success of his 2017 thriller Get Out, to 2019’s creepy and horrifying tour-de-force Us, to this year’s action-packed monster movie Nope, Jordan Peele is becoming arguably one of the most impor…
 
Joe Connor (@josephjconnor), founder of Odyssey (@WithOdyssey_), joins Anne Dwane and Lucas Bagno on this episode. Takeaways: - ACT test scores are at the lowest level in 30 years. 42% of students met none of the college readiness benchmarks. - District schools are not providing what parents need so children are leaving them in large numbers. - Par…
 
Ian Cinnamon (@iancinnamon), co-founder and CEO of Apex Space, and Max Benassi (@mxbenassi), co-founder and CTO, join Lucas Bagno on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - The cost per kilogram to get things into space has gone down dramatically over the last several years. - Satellites have two parts: a payload and a bus. The bus is the actual st…
 
Ben Van Roo (@DavidNorthStar), co-founder and CEO of Yurts AI, joins Lucas Bagno on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - The Small Business Innovation Research program was originally developed as a grant program to allow small companies do innovative research. The gene for cystic fibrosis was discovered from the program. - If you’re a small comp…
 
Deep Nishar (@deepnishar), Managing Director at General Catalyst and formerly of LinkedIn and Google, joins Anne Dwane on this episode. Takeaways: - The best product hires have the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat. - When you’re interviewing people for product roles at startups, don’t ask people what they …
 
Seth Goldenberg is a designer, curator, and entrepreneur who harnesses the power of questioning to catalyze innovation and cultural change. He is the author of “Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures” which asks us to relearn how we learn, rethink what we value, and revive our youthful sense of wonder. I…
 
Christian Brose (@cdbrose), Chief Strategy Officer at Anduril and author of The Kill Chain, joins Lucas Bagno on this episode. Takeaways: - The US military and its procurement system has been built for equipment that is big, heavy, and hard to replace — things like ships and aircraft carriers and tanks. - Commercial technologies can contribute to a…
 
We at re:verb can neither confirm nor deny whether the truth will set you free - but it certainly provides good fodder for rhetorical criticism! On today’s show, Alex and Calvin present a re:joinder episode with a unique rhetorical artifact: an “unclassified” podcast recently released by one of the most secretive intelligence agencies in the world,…
 
Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT), New York Times columnist and author of The Decadent Society, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - Since the moon landing, we have entered a period of stagnation. Confidence and optimism have declined and culture has entered a repetitive spiral where patterns from the 60s/70s have been repeatin…
 
Steve Kim (https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenrkim/), Partner and head of Investment Strategy at Verdis, a 9-generation single family office, joins Olga Serhiyevich (@olgaserhi), Head of Investor Relations at Village Global, on this episode. Takeaways: Early stage venture is a power law asset class where the returns of the asset class are driven by …
 
Raj Shah, Managing Partner at Shield Capital, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - Raj and Shield don’t care whether a founding team has experience selling to government, because the firm can help with that. They evaluate the team, the market and the tech when they’re looking at an investment. - Ash Carter was the first …
 
Julio Vasconcellos and Ana Martins, partners at Atlantico, join Anne Dwane and Lucas Bagno on this episode to discuss Atlantico's Latin America Digital Transformation Report 2022. Takeaways: - In the rest of the world, digital adoption has reverted to the pre-pandemic mean, but digital transformation has continued at the same pace in Latin America.…
 
Mike Brown, former director of the Defense Innovation Unit, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - It can easily take 10-20 years for tech to make its way into the Department of Defense. The Defense Innovation Unit helped speed that process up dramatically. - Some of the most important technologies being used in the war in…
 
What’s a tenant union, and why does it matter? On today’s show, Alex and Calvin get some fascinating answers to this question from Luke Melonakos-Harrison, a Masters student in Yale University’s Divinity School, tenant union organizer with the Connecticut Tenants Union and the Connecticut Democratic Socialists of America, and aspiring Methodist pas…
 
Alex Moore (@AustinGiraffe), investor at 8VC and board member at Palantir, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - Alex was one of the original team members at Palantir. He says that helping build the company helps him pattern match today to find the best founders. - Defense investing is not like normal VC inve…
 
Muneeb Ali (@muneeb), co-founder of Stacks, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways: - Muneeb says that Bitcoin is winning as money, and that he wants to make that capital productive. He’s "bringing smart contracts to where the money is." - Bitcoin’s architecture implies that there shouldn’t be much flexibility and programmability on the base layer b…
 
Dan Romero (@dwr) of Farcaster joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways: - Dan says that his first love was information. He loved RSS and the goal with Farcaster is to improve RSS enough so that it can compete with Twitter. - He aims to grow Farcaster large enough so that developers can innovate using their API and data permissionlessly. - Any develop…
 
At the recent 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), right-wing movement leaders couldn’t stop whining about “pronouns.” For example, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said that his preferred pronouns are “kiss my ass,” and former Trump official Matt Schlapp complained that instead of carrying out his “duties” like dealing with the “open border…
 
Nathan Picarsic, co-founder of Horizon Advisory, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - There are 17 rare earth metals that are of immense strategic importance. They are used in a vast array of everyday products like consumer electronics, medical devices, electric vehicles, and more. - China has a strong influ…
 
Joel Monegro (@jmonegro), partner at Placeholder, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways: - Every financial asset is a contract between two or more people. The world economy is basically a set of contracts on a ledger. - A smart contract is like an API, but on-chain, so it can’t be taken down. In many cases, not even the developers can retract a sma…
 
Steve Blank (@sgblank), creator of Hacking For Defense and author of 4 Steps To The Epiphany, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - The secret history of Silicon Valley is that it emerged from the government’s desire to develop advanced technology and weapons in universities during World War II. - Stanford be…
 
Antonio Garcia-Martinez (@antoniogm), author of The Pull Request, joins Erik Torenberg and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - The first version of ads on the web, banner ads, looked like ads in the newspaper, because often the new version of media looks like the last version of media — that’s skeuomorphism. - Apple’s app tracking transparen…
 
On June 28, 2022, explosive public testimony was delivered by a former Trump Administration aide named Cassidy Hutchinson in front of the United States House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attacks. Hutchinson’s testimony corroborated and deepened the Committee’s case that President Trump had led the attacks. In addition, Hutchinson …
 
Avichal Garg (@avichal), founder of Electric Capital, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways: - Downturns impact large companies much more than founders and early stage investors because the companies are so small relative to their total addressable market. - Managing your own psychology in a downturn is the most important skill for a founder in the…
 
Jeff Morris Jr. (@jmj), investor at Chapter One, joins Erik Torenberg and co-host Ian Cinnamon. Takeaways: - Jeff realized the power of subscriptions during his time at Tinder. He says that digital goods are an even better version of subscriptions. - Web3 is almost entirely missing mobile usability. - Crypto apps could add a reputation layer to exi…
 
AJ Piplica (@AJ_Piplica), founder and CEO of Hermeus, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways: - Every time there has been an acceleration in the speed of transportation in history, high GDP growth has followed. - A switch to hypersonic transportation would unlock $4T in growth. - In the future the key differentiator in air tr…
 
Mike Shebat (@mike_sheb), co-founder and CEO of Traba, joins Erik Torenberg and Lucas Bagno on this episode. Takeaways: - There is a huge problem with meeting demand for workers at warehouses and fulfilment centres. There are 75% more jobs in those fields after the pandemic. - Mike worked in warehousing and helped scale UberEats so has strong found…
 
Peter Newell (@PeterANewell), CEO of BMNT, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - Peter was “handed the Ferrari of skunkworks” when he came to be in charge of the Rapid Equipping Force. It was a program that handled over a billion dollars to deploy new technologies. - He became more of an entrepreneur after hi…
 
JD Ross (@justindross) and Justin Blau (@3LAU), co-founders of Royal, join Erik Torenberg and co-host Ian Cinnamon for this episode of our web3 series. Takeaways: - Royal stems from their vision to invest in talent early on. - Streaming increased by 60-70x in about 5 years from 2015 on. - The barrier to entry for artists is much lower — they no lon…
 
Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg), co-founder and general partner at Village Global and co-founder and co-CEO of On Deck join Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways: - Startups are the most effective organizations for solving our biggest problems. - Startups disproportionately contribute to economic growth. - Governments…
 
Tushar Jain (@TusharJain_), co-founder and managing partner of Multicoin Capital, joins Erik on this episode to discuss: - The history of crypto over the last several years and the various moments that different technologies like Bitcoin, NFTs, tokens, and others have had. - What the world looks like if the predictions for crypto’s impact comes tru…
 
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