Today, we continue our run of legendary authors and podcasters with Dr. Christopher Ryan, author of New York Times bestsellers, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships and Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress. He has a chart-topping dialog podcast is called, Tangentially Speaking,
We have a fun, some times provocative discussion about everything from Muhammad Ali, what’s wrong with modernity, how the world is fundamentally changing, why living in a van is awesome, to what it’s like making a living as roving, smart person.
The Legendary Muhammad Ali
Christopher Ryan and Christopher Lochhead went into an insightful exchange of stories about Muhammad Ali. Chris shares during this lockdown, he discovered a YouTube channel that featured several classic fights and he enjoyed binge-watching on these.
Chris mentions Pete McCormick, the guy behind a documentary called “Facing Ali” and he interviewed guys who fought Ali. The interesting backstory was, during these tune-up fights, Ali would handpick his opponent.
“He would tell his agent, he heard one guy, his wife had been killed in an accident, so he will get a quarter-million dollars. He's beating people up in a charitable, generous way.” - Christopher Ryan
Podcasting Has Been Instrumental
Lochhead describes Ryan as “an insanely smart Ph.D. dude who seems to make a living being a smart guy, writing smart shit, podcasting smart shit, generally being the smart guy in the world.” He says podcasting has been instrumental in getting his message across.
“It used to be, if you want to sit down and share your opinions to a hundred young smart people who are interested in hearing an old guy like me, you had a gig in the university. Universities are designed to filter out people like me or Joe Rogan or you, people who are liable to say something outlandish, to challenge this status quo.” - Christopher Ryan
He further shares that he is generally pessimistic about the modern world, but one of the wonderful things that happened recently is that podcasting exploded.
“It is almost like a printing press, it just exploded, the opportunity to have direct contact between someone in the audience and the audience chooses whether or not it’s worth listening to. It is not the administrators of the university or publishing house, you know the gatekeepers.” - Christopher Ryan
What It Is Like Living In A Van
Christopher says he owned an apartment for a while until last fall when he spent 5 months in the van. He ditched his apartment, rented a storage space, and continued living life on the road since then. He traveled across the United States during the summer and flew to tropical countries during the wintertime.
“When this stuff got weird, end of January, I flew back. I didn't want to get stranded in Asia. I rented a house in a tiny little town in Colorado. I've been here, it is fantastic, there's no problem with social distancing. I like solitude. I like a good solid chunk of quiet and distance.” - Christopher Ryan
To hear more about Christopher and what’s wrong with modernity and how the world is fundamentally changing, download and listen to this episode.
Christopher and his work have been featured just about everywhere, including Netflix, HBO, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Times of London, Playboy, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, and The Atlantic.
Chris has been a featured speaker at TED, SXSW, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House, the Einstein Forum in Pottsdam, Germany,
Today, we have Clint Carnall, CEO of HydraFacial to share an extraordinary story of resilience, creativity, and action in a very short period of time. Clint’s company was one of the many companies that were amassing tens of millions of dollars in revenue, pre-pandemic. Now at zero revenues, they opted to go radically generous and thoughtfully aggressive.
This is a legendary and inspiring example of how an entrepreneurial team scaled to meet any challenge, even the greatest challenge frankly that any of us have faced in our lifetime.
The HydraFacial Ecosystem
HydraFacial, as Christopher described it “is a company that is a part medical procedure, part beauty spa-like experience.” Clint, on the other hand, describes their company as a company built on “partnership.” They are not a “or” company, rather an “and” company, considering hotels, spas, medical physicians as partners rather than competitors.
“Absolutely, no matter how good the painter they are, everybody needs a clean canvas. They think about HydraFacial like giving these physician med spas a clean canvas.” - Clint Carnell
Clint continues to describe how their company operates in an ecosystem of physicians and nurses and consumers spas, hotels, etc and how this business model helped them to drastically grow the business.
From Top-Tier to Zero Revenues
A few weeks ago, Clint’s company HydraFacial were on a growth tier, serving different regions worldwide. They were on their A-game until Covid-19 struck their business. Clint shares how he witnessed their markets in China, Japan, Taiwan, and the rest of the world shut down.
However, Clint shares why this is an exciting time to be creative and to brush it off and take off.
“I say it is a creative time. You know, it feels like an ambush. You are walking along and things are fine and then something hits you out of nowhere that you couldn’t expect. We are a little stunned. We have to brush ourselves off, were up and back, and ready to go.” - Clint Carnell
Finding Opportunities Amidst Crisis
Clint believes that good companies and executives, as well as creative entrepreneurs, have the capacity to make today as ‘creative times.’ CEOs all over the world have to make hard decisions, especially when you go from that kind of growth to almost zero revenue overnight.
“The things that made us good executing the way up were the same things that are serving us during these challenging times and so strategy, but more importantly, solid execution.” - Clint Carnell
To hear more about how a category queen company created three new lines of business in a matter of weeks after their core category collapsed to no fault of their own and for more information about Clint, download and listen to this episode.
Clint was born in Anchorage Alaska but receives no royalties from the pipeline, thus he works for a living as our Chief Executive Officer.
He grew up in Washington State and chased a soccer ball well enough to attend Duke University on a scholarship where he received grades good enough to land jobs with the likes of Johnson & Johnson, Chiron, Gambro Healthcare and Bausch & Lomb.
He's always been an entrepreneur starting in his early days when he would skip the school bus, buy jolly ranchers for a nickel and sell them for a quarter.
At thirty, he founded Charleston Renal Care, which was acquired by DaVita.
This gave him the ability to take a chance and join a VC backed company named Thermage, which went public, made acquisitions, and is now called Solta Medical.
In his very spare time, Clint and his wife are busy raising two kids in Park City, Utah. The family has lots of animals affectionately called "the farm". His biggest fear is breaking all his bones trying to race his kids down the ski slope!
We continue our run of legendary authors with best selling author of the brand new book Samsung Rising, Geoffrey Cain. He takes us into both South and North Korea, what it’s like to live in both places and how relatively small South Korea gained out-sized economic power. We also talk about how Samsung grew from a fish market to a mega-empirical, multi-national, with 300,000 employees. There's a ton here you'll find fascinating.
Geoffrey gives a great visual description of both North and South Korea in this episode. He lived on and off in South Korea from 2009 to 2016 and have visited North Korea as well for two weeks as a reporter.
He further describes how South Koreans practice their right to assemble to petition about issues such as powers of major corporations, labor unions, and the like. He relates South Korea to the French who have massive protests, too.
“Korean democracy is quite young, it was only 1987 that Korea became a democracy. It wasn't until many years later that it really became a full democracy. It was a corrupted democracy for a long time. The fascinating thing was the fact that I'm standing in the Square, and I could turn north and look north and I would realize that about 45 minutes or an hour drive away from me, is the border of North Korea.” - Geoffrey Cain
On the border of South Korea lies what they call the DMZ or the Demilitarized Zone. It is one of the most heavily mined places on Earth. Former President Bill Clinton even visited and said: “its the scariest place on Earth.”
South Korea (SK) is described as orderly but with bustling cars and noise, he describes the DMZ in North Korea as barren land. There were no lush trees like in SK and the whole vibe of Pyongyang, the capital was similar to a dystopian sci-fi movie.
Miracle in Han River
The unexpected growth of South Korea is often called as the Miracle in Han River. The country was able to come out of nowhere and take on the world. This is what Geoffrey discussed in his book Samsung Rising.
“The story of this nation that has been overlooked in the past—it is small, it is seen as inconsequential, it is this little peninsula next to this major giant, China, smash right there with Japan, which is also a big power subject to all kinds of war and sufferings in the past—but somehow managed to become this powerhouse of technology and economy and industry and democracy.” - Geoffrey Cain
To hear more about Geoffrey’s views on China and Asia more broadly, the Coronavirus and the battle for worldwide AI supremacy, download and listen to this episode.
Geoffrey Cain is an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, commentator, anthropologist, and scholar of East and Central Asia.
His first book, Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korea Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech, from a decade of his coverage of the world’s largest technology conglomerate, was published in March 2020 by Currency at Penguin Random House.
A former correspondent at The Economist, Cain is a regular commentator in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Foreign Policy,
The New Republic and The Nation, and a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Bloomberg.
Cain writes about the ways that technology is upending our lives, communities, governments and businesses.
His work takes him to the world’s most authoritarian and far-off places, from inside North Korea to the trans-Siberian railway across Russia, from investigations into genocide in Cambodia to experiments in technological surveillance in China.
Cain is sought out as a consultant on government, business and technology, having advised the World Health Organization, Open Government Partnership,
Today, we have a riveting conversation with Sachit Gupta. He’s been in the background helping some of the top podcasters and content creators build their businesses. He’s an expert at building and monetizing digital content.
Recently, he stepped out and built his own podcast Conscious Creators and he wants to help people “Make A Life Through Your Art Without Selling Your Soul.” This conversation is a great opportunity to learn from a sensei in digital content and regardless of what you do,
Second Guessing His Talents
A lot more people are looking at podcasting, webinars, youtube shows, and other digital content of course writing books, as either key parts of their business or an extension to their business. In fact, Christopher personally thinks every brand needs to become a media brand. There is no other time than today to start digital leadership in your respective industry.
For 10 years now, Sachit Gupta had been in the background of content creators or digital leaders. He worked with industry giants like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, among others. But who would have thought he has always been second-guessing himself in terms of creativity?
“My art wasn't good enough, so I started doing all these things. I graduated and worked with creators and now what I realized is, because I didn't think my art was good enough, or my creation, I subconsciously entered a career supporting other creators.” - Sachit Gupta
The Story of the Starving Artist
Christopher asks Sanchit what fascinates him the most. He shares that he has always been fascinated with artists who can remain independent with their craft while still monetizing their talents.
“For me, I think there is a whole story of the starving artist and how creators are always like beholden to big corporations. How can you create and be an independent artist and own your art, own your worth and charge your worth like you can have a career yourself?” - Sachit Gupta
Advice To Content Creators
What are the things most people get stuck with? Sanchit shares that the people whom he works with—creative people, artists, content creators—are still challenged with defining what their message is and to whom is this message for.
“Who’s your market? What are their hopes, fears, and dreams? What are their problems and how do you help them solve the problem?” - Sachit Gupta
To know more about Sanchit Gupta, an expert at building and monetizing digital content, download and listen to this episode.
Sachit Gupta helps amplify Creators (podcasters, authors, etc.) & Brands.
Creators and Brands want the same things — the right audiences, bigger impact; sometimes, even each other. He provides the tools and strategies to create the right connections at the right time that make these needs, reality — easily, instantly. That’s what he means when he say — Connections, Amplified.
Sanchit and his team have worked on campaigns with top podcasters like Andrew Warner (Mixergy) Hiten Shah & Steli Efti (The Startup Chat), #1 NYT best-selling authors (Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Oren Klaff), social media influencers (Tessa Arias, Handle The Heat) and international sports stars (Rohit Sharma, Indian Cricket Team).
He also worked with 30+ brands including Pilot.com, Toptal, Pipedrive, HostGator, ActiveCampaign, ahrefs, The 5 Minute Journal, ClickFunnels, Outerknown, Brain.fm and more to create win-win partnerships with Creators.
Linkedin: Sachit Gupta
Today the legendary super agent Darren Prince. We dig into it all, how he went from sports memorabilia to a super agent. Pay special attention to why Darren wants to inspire people to overcome addiction. This is an extraordinary guy and conversation, I know you’ll love.
The Man Behind The Man and The Woman
Darren is 100% well-known among sports A-listers and celebrities. His client list includes Magic Johnson, Charlie Sheen, Vince Neil, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Dennis Rodman, Denise Richards, Carmen Electra, Chevy Chase, the late Muhammad Ali, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and Evel Knievel.
“You got to love them like your family. I love people, It’s amazing. You're getting inside some of these people’s lives and if you do the right thing, the relationships that would come from it, from people that really don't trust because they’ve been screwed ever so often. They are very very guarded” - Darren Prince
Aside from a well-renowned agent, he is also a self-confessed recovered addict with nearly 12 years sober. He describes his experience and how certain religious figures helped him through this challenge. He usually shares this experience when he speaks in colleges, groups or companies.
“My opiate addiction took me to a place where I wanted to kill myself every day. I had a dream job, the dream life, the clients, the notoriety, but I was living in a double life.” - Darren Prince
Undesirable Childhood Life
Darren shares a lot of his challenges that started in my childhood. He was classified with a severe learning disability. This led him to feel different, less, and uncomfortable with his own skin.
He was verbally bullied and he never spoke out.
To hear more about Darren and his ideas on overcoming addiction, download and listen to this episode.
Darren Prince is a sports and celebrity agent who, at the age of 14, founded a mail order company selling baseball cards and traveling around the country participating in trade shows.
At the age of 20 he sold his company and became an industry leader in private autograph signings for sports and celebrity memorabilia with athletes and celebrities. A-List celebrities included the late Muhammad Ali, Hulk Hogan, Pele, Joe Montana, Carmen Electra and Jenny McCarthy.
In 1995 Prince started a new venture with Prince Marketing Group (PMG), representing athletes and celebrities for marketing deals consisting of endorsements, licensing, TV, movie and book deals, autograph signings and appearances. His first client to sign with the firm was none other than Magic Johnson.
Soon after Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman, Pamela Anderson and Chevy Chase followed.
With PMG growing at an enormous pace, Prince added Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Mickey Rourke, Roy Jones Jr, Micky Ward and the late Evel Knievel as clients over the years.
The sports/entertainment industry is a small world and very competitive,” says Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group.
“Prince Marketing Group has prospered over the years by delivering out of the box thinking for clients and building relationships through the practice of good business and effective networking.”
Prince Marketing Group is currently a multi-million dollar business that has negotiated over $200 Million in deals and currently secures marketing deals, arranges signing/memorabilia appearances, commercial licensing, product endorsement, and voice-overs. Darren is a true entrepreneur as he has been able to continuously reinvent himself and significantly grow his business over the years.
He has been featured in outlets such as Your World With Neil Cavuto, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Hannity & Colmes, ESPN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, USA Today, Forbes’ Sports Money, On the record with Greta Van Susteren, Howard Stern radio,
Today, #1 technology analyst, author of the smash hit, “Disrupting Digital Business” and founder of Constellation Research, Ray Wang is back. To add to our list of controversial episodes, Ray shares his thoughts on how Coronavirus really started, It’s impact on society and why we better be ready for a new normal. This is a fantastic, thought-provoking dialogue!
The New Normal
As we are currently facing a pandemic, Ray shares the new normal that we should all be prepared for. He shares there will be mass testing, so the health officials can compare the figures versus the mortality rates. Governments will also impose the suspension of business operations and will strictly enforce home quarantines and lockdowns.
“If you look at the 2019-2020 flu season, we had 15 million cases, 140,000 hospitalizations, and 8200 deaths. We can handle 140,000 hospitalizations over 8 to 10 weeks, that’s not an issue. This is the surge in the hospitalization, that occurs all at once. We can’t handle 140,000 a week, that would just blow up the entire hospital bed capacity.” - Ray Wang
Ray refreshes our memory during January, where several reports circulated about a new strain of flu that is affecting China. He spoke with several colleagues from the Chinese scientific community who said they were prohibited to use messaging apps to discuss this. The Chinese Communist Party members decided to play the issue down.
“Even if those numbers are not accurate, a lot of people were saying, contain, shut down, all travel in and out of China. If they had done that, we weren’t here today. It’s not “blame game time,” but that’s how we contain a crisis.” - Ray Wang
Viral Research Gone Wrong
Ray shares some provocative information that he received from several scientists in China. Apparently, in a viral laboratory near Wuhan, some scientists are modifying bat genomes. For some reason, there must have been a breach in safety protocols, which ended in spreading the virus through patient zero in Wuhan Wet Market.
“Nobody wanted to talk about it because there was a dual-use lab. If you’re a government, you don’t want to hurt your own people either. Today, what’s actually happening is they are trying to cover up for that.” - Ray Wang
To hear more about Ray and about coronavirus and its impact on the society, download and listen to this episode.
R "Ray" Wang (pronounced WAHNG) is the Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Silicon Valley based Constellation Research, Inc.
He's also the author of the popular business strategy and technology blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View".
With viewership in the 10's of millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models such as digital transformation impact brands, enterprises, and organizations.
Wang has held executive roles in product, marketing, strategy, and consulting at companies such as Forrester Research, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
His new best selling book Disrupting Digital Business, published by Harvard Business Review Press and now globally available provides insights on why 52% of the Fortune 500 have been merged, acquired, gone bankrupt, or fallen off the list since 2000.
In fact, this impact of digital disruption is real. However, it’s not the technologies that drive this change. It’s a shift in how new business models are created.
Wang has held executive roles in product, marketing, strategy, and consulting at companies such as Forrester Research, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Personify, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a prominent and dynamic keynote speaker and research analyst working with clients on digital, innovation, business model design, engagement strategies, customer experience,
Today, we have Security Guru Morgan Wright, a distinguished professional in law enforcement and an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity, cyberterrorism, and privacy. We talk all things security: how to deal with fear, scams, self-defense and most importantly why Morgan is optimistic about our future. This is a fantastic dialogue!
We have conversed with Morgan several times in the past. He talked about Security in episode 84. He was known for his landmark testimony before Congress on Healthcare.gov that changed how the government collected personally identifiable information.
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
Morgan shares about Dave Grossman, an author who has written excellent books and theory on warfare and mindset. Dave, in his writing, says that in every society there are 3 kinds of people: there are sheep, there are wolves and there are sheepdogs.
“If you’re a sheep, that’s okay, but recognize you’re a sheep.If you are a sheepdog, that’s the only thing that stands between the sheep and the wolves. Less than 1% of the population in the US, whether its the military or firefighters, says I will stand up and be that sheepdog.” Morgan Wright on Dave Grossman’s Writing
However, Morgan believes that when the time is ripe, many “sheeps” are willing to step up and become “sheepdogs.” He narrates how several life-changing events that happened in the US changed the mindset of Americans. Those are the 9/11 attack, Hurricanes, and others.
“Just when we think we have been tested, nature has its own way of testing you again.” - Morgan Wright
Keep Calm & Carry On
Morgan further shares some insights on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He stresses the importance of keeping calm. He says that there is no amount of panic that can change the situation. In fact, it worsens the current situation.
He also shares about expecting nothing and accepting everything. He also quotes Teddy Roosevelt saying “do what you can, with who you are, with what you have.”
To hear more about Morgan Wright, how to deal with fear, scams, self-defense and most importantly why Morgan is optimistic about our future, download and listen to this episode.
Morgan is an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, identity theft and privacy.
He is President and Chief Development Officer for RadiusAI.
He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at The Center for Digital Government, and is a national security opinion contributor to TheHill.com.
Morgan's landmark testimony before Congress on Healthcare.gov changed how the government collected personally identifiable information.
He’s made hundreds of appearances on national news, radio, print and web including CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, ABC, NPR, NBC and more. Previously Morgan was a Senior Advisor in the US State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program and Senior Law Enforcement Advisor for the 2012 Republican National Convention. In addition to 18 years in state and local law enforcement as a highly decorated state trooper and detective, Morgan has developed solutions in defense, justice and intelligence for the largest technology companies in the world including SAIC, Unisys, Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco.
He’s a contributing author for the 4th Edition Computer Security Handbook, and has been quoted in 2 New York Times best sellers (Sharyl Attkisson: Stonewalled and Carmine Gallow: Talk Like TED).
Blog - Morgan Wright
Today, we speak with self-made Billionaire, Founder of $30B market cap, Paychex. You’re gonna love this guy! He has a new book: Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire's No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs.
We dig into the book and his insights on why and when you start a company. He also talks about how to build a long-term, successful business and what important steps to take before marriage.
Encourager of Entrepreneurs
Tom found himself as an encourager of entrepreneurs. He understood why people evaluate whether they want to become an entrepreneur or not. He knew that there are a lot of things to take into account, such as risk and hardships exclusive to entrepreneurship.
As risks would be evident in any career, Tom shares that sometimes it is even riskier to work for somebody than it is to be your own entrepreneur. Besides, a business can serve as an heirloom or an asset that one can resell.
“If your business concept is well thought off, and you are very well qualified to run your little company, your medium-sized company, whatever. then I think that’s the best of both worlds.” - Tom Golisano
Wise Words For Entrepreneurs
Aside from a winning concept for an enterprise, Tom shares entrepreneurs must have industry knowledge. Before launching Paychex, he used to sell accounting machines while working for a payroll processing company that caters to large corporations. He believes this industry knowledge affected his success.
“Anybody who is considering being an entrepreneur, the first thing that I would ask is ‘what's your industry knowledge?’ You know about this industry, you’re getting into that you could absolutely make a difference or are you gonna end up getting a very serious or costly education because you got into something you really did understand?” - Tom Golisano
Sales Management is a Must
For Tom, Sales management is one of the biggest issues with entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs mask the issue, saying its a “cashflow problem” but in reality, the company is not making enough sales.
Tom advises entrepreneurs to start making calls and to immerse themselves as much to learn about the sales process.
“You’re not gonna be able to develop a good sales team unless you have that knowledge yourself. You might as well dig right into it. start making sales presentations and sales calls, and if you still don’t think you’re the right person to be doing that, at least you’ll be in the position to train somebody you hire to perform that function.” - Tom Golisano
To hear more about Tom’s stories about what it’s like being married to Tennis Legend, Monica Seles, philanthropy, investment strategy and many more, download and listen to this episode.
Thomas Golisano — entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader — is the founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York.
With more than 12,000 employees and 100 office locations nationwide, Paychex is a leading national provider of payroll, human resource, and benefit outsourcing solutions for more than a half-million small and medium-sized businesses.
Tom Golisano served as Paychex’s president and chief executive officer from 1971, when he founded the company, until October 2004.
Mr. Golisano and Paychex have consistently been recognized by the business, financial and national media.
Mr. Golisano was listed among the FORBES top 10 bosses in the U.S. for three consecutive years, beginning in 2002; the annual ranking is based on chief executives who provide the best balance between their compensation and shareholder return.
In February 2020, his first book, Built, Not Born was launched, providing Tom Golisano's trademark direct and often humorous style, and no-nonsense advice across all phases of business ownership.
Today, we feature another great author in this series. Rishad Tobaccowala is the Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, an advertising and communications firm with 80,000 people! He has a brand new book, Restoring the Soul of Business.
We talk about how business leaders are overly focused on spreadsheets, why the best companies are like religions, the importance of being human beings at work!
Spreadsheet, Story, and Soul
Over the last few years where things are moving extremely fast because of technology, data, financial and twitchiness of time, Rishad shares that companies have started tilting towards the spreadsheet side of the business, which is measurable, data-driven and financial.
However, for Rishad, a successful company is one who can marry both the spreadsheet side of the business and the story of the business, which is about the culture, the purpose, values, emotion, and talent of the company.
“The soul of the business is when you combine the story and the spreadsheet in a way that you have a viable growing business with viable growing people, in a community that is also viable.” - Rishad Tobaccowala
Business Is For Citizens
Rishad believes that its time to optimize the business for the citizen, and not for the consumer. He discussed about this during his talk last January 2019, addressing professionals from Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.
“What we’ve created is something incredible in both the empowerment, the connections, and the wealth creation opportunities. At the same stage, there is a downside, which is, increased inequality, increased polarization and to a great extent, a break down of trust. Could it be, that in chasing just the data side of the spreadsheet side, we lost the souls of our businesses?” - Rishad Tobaccowala
The Purpose of A Company
The first one is to ensure that its four constituencies are looked after. The four are
(1) people who they serve - customers, members, users, consumers
(2) the talent that works in the company
(3) community in which the company or the companies offices and factories are based and
(4) the country in which that particular segment of the company is based.
Rishad shares that the 2nd part of the company's reason to be.
”To generate financial profit which basically allows the company to both reinvest in all those first four criteria, as well as continue to grow because to me, growth is an important thing, but growth measured across those four indicators.” - Rishad Tobaccowala
The third one is how companies create purpose, value, meaning, and connections for life.
To listen more about Rishad’s advice to restore the soul in the business, download and listen to this episode.
Rishad is Chief Growth Officer and member of the Management Committee of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communication firm with 80,000 employees.
BusinessWeek named Rishad as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIME magazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators.
Rishad’s first book “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data” will be published globally on January 28, 2020.
Re-Inventing blog features some of his writings.
Prior to his current role, Rishad was the Chief Strategist and Member of the Directoire/+ of Publicis Groupe.
Before his corporate role, Rishad was the Chairman of DigitasLBi and Razorfish. Publicis Groupe owns these two global firms, with over 10,000 employees around the world focused on marketing and business transformation.
Rishad has 36 years of experience around the world and helped grow, founded/co-founded or incubated a variety of companies including VivaKi, Leo Burnett, Starcom, SMG Next, Starcom IP, Giant Step, Play, and Denuo.
Today’s guest is none other than Silicon Valley Legend, Heidi Roizen. She is an accomplished, Entrepreneur, former head of developer relations at Apple and now, a legendary VC. She shares with us why today is the Golden Era for entrepreneurship, how any company is literally a tech company and more about VC-backed company, Memphis Meats.
Silicon Valley's Greatest Connector
The Financial Women of San Francisco honored Heidi as Financial Woman of the Year in 2018. She is also dubbed as “Silicon Valley's Greatest Connector.” She is currently sits on the board of companies such as Zoox, Planet, Memphis Meats, HelixRE and DMGT.
“I talk about the fact that there should be more women entrepreneurs and there should be more women venture capitalists and diversity. Not just gender diversity but other diversity and I try to support that through my actions. I think it’s appropriate given my role in Silicon Valley. If I have an opinion about that, I should be vocal about that.” - Heidi Roizen
Other than these achievements, Heidi is a self-proclaimed animal lover. She adopted several dogs from the shelter, which she fondly shares in her social media.
Golden Era of Entrepreneurship
Heidi describes the market as a seller's market when it comes to early-stage equity. There are a lot of sources of capital in the market, its very competitive. She enumerates all the positive assets entrepreneurs have in today’s world.
“There's just so many different avenues for funding. There are so many tech breakthroughs that can be built upon, whether that is networking or processing power, sensors, devices, GPS, next-gen VR technologies, ubiquitous platforms. When you think about the kinds of businesses you can start today for pennies, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past.” - Heidi Roizen
The only negative she can mention is about competition, as she believes everyone else can also solve many big, interesting problems. Additionally, she mentions why companies nowadays are considered tech companies.
“I do think it’s interesting today is, every company is a technology company, right? For the most part, how they interact with the customers, how they distribute their products, how they garner feedback, how they handle customer service, tech support, logistics, supply chain, internally, HR systems—every company is deep in technology now.” - Heidi Roizen
Memphis Meats. Cell-based Meat
Heidi shares more about Memphis Meats and why she believes there is a huge growth potential for cell-based meat. First, she discusses how meat is inefficient to produce: from breeding to feeding to slaughtering and distribution to markets. Not only does it requires more resources, such as land and water use, it is also highly prone to contamination.
“The great thing about being a venture capitalist is, we don’t have to actually invent this stuff. There are really awesome entrepreneurs that are way smarter than we are who come up with these ideas. We just have to make sure they want to come to talk to us, and that we can validate sufficiently what they are doing through our own research learning.” - Heidi Roizen
To hear more about legendary Silicon Valley stories of Heidi Roizen, download and listen to the episode.
Heidi represents the voice of the entrepreneur, having been one herself.
But she also represents the voice of the user, as those are the roots that led her to start a company in the first place.
She is on the boards of directors of Zoox, Planet, Memphis Meats, HelixRE and DMGT (LSE:DMGT.)
After Heidi earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford, she co-founded T/Maker, where she served as CEO for over a decade through its acquisition by Deluxe Corporate in 1994. Next, she joined Apple as VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, and from there, Mobius Venture Capital.
For the second part of our two-part series on legendary category king companies, we are featuring John Rossman, author of “Think Like Amazon.”
We have a fun, insightful conversation about how Amazon became arguably the most innovative category king in the world and most importantly, how you can learn to think like Amazon in your career.
Digital vs. Traditional
Christopher probes John on his thoughts about the distinction between traditional businesses versus data-driven, digital ones. John shares that other than the technological aspect, he could relate digital businesses to athletic attributes such as speed and agility.
In detail, John said speed is about doing a repetitive motion, extremely well and efficiently. In business terms, that is considered as operational excellence. The second attribute, agility, is the ability to sense and make change happen.
“Part of being digital is about the eternal pursuit of becoming perfect. How do we reduce cycle times? Improve quality, reduce costs? Cut out little pieces of friction from both our customers and employees?” - John Rossman
Embracing New Niches
John cites Amazon’s business strategy in terms of embracing new niches. The other aspect of finding problems, then working on a solution, is the notion of working into the future. He defines the future as a “time and a place for unconstrained thinking.”
“Amazon’s answer to that, their philosophy or their technique is: start with the customer and work backward. ” - John Rossman
When teams are brainstorming, all of these constraints come to the table and they deliberately understand which parts of the solution they are. Afterward, they identify the right mindset, then the right tools and ultimately, the right approach in order to solve the problem.
Architecture is the Business Strategy
Citing some parts of the book, Think Like Amazon, Christopher asks John the idea behind the concept architecture is the business strategy.
“You have to plan forward on how you build things, because the constraints, the flexibility the adaptability on how you build your operations and your technology architecture—will either be a key enabler or key constraint in your ability in going forward.” - John Rossman
In the end, John shares that his whole goal is to give a business person, who is not technology architect, a set of tools and questions that they utilize to be a better partner with their technology expert
To hear more about how digital businesses like Amazon innovate across entire the entire value-chain and John Rossman’s thoughts on how to make wise bets on new business ideas, download and listen to the episode.
John Rossman, Digital and Innovation Advisor
Mr. Rossman is an expert at digital business models, operations and organizing programs. He has led engagements on developing innovation processes, Internet of Things strategies, marketplace and API driven platform business models.
He is a sought after speaker on creating a culture of operational excellence and innovation.
Mr. Rossman has worked with clients across various industries, including retail, insurance, education, healthcare, consumer products, industrial products and transportation.
Mr. Rossman’s notable assignments include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Nordstrom and several of the world’s leading retail and insurance organizations.
Prior to Rossman Partners, John was a Managing Director at Alvarez and Marsal, a performance improvement consulting firm.
Prior to A&M, John was an executive at Amazon.com where he launched the Marketplace business and third party selling platform, and ran the merchant services business.
Linkedin: John Rossman
This is the first in a special two-part series featuring two CEO’s of two recent multi-billion IPOs—Jennifer Tejada, CEO of Pager Duty and billionaire, founder and CEO of Zoom Communications, the amazing Eric Yuan.
Today’s episode features an insightful conversation about how Eric feels like to have a super successful IPO. Eric further shares Zoom’s culture centered on happiness and his motivation, mission and vision for Zoom and much more.
Culture of Happiness
Eric Yuan guested at Christopher’s previous podcast, Legends and Losers Episode 032. As of recording time, Zoom Communications raised $357M in IPO and is a $20+ billion market cap company.
“When I wake up, the first person I ask is myself. Do I feel happy or not? I encourage our employees to ask the same questions. Ultimately, if our employee is not happy, I’m pretty sure they cannot give happiness to our customers. That's why we keep the happiness culture here.” - Eric Yuan
Christopher cited some amazing data from GlassDoor. Employees rated Zoom 4.8, 5 being the highest. On the question “would you recommend Zoom to a friend, as a great place to work,” 95% said yes. Lastly, on CEO approval, 97% of the respondents said they approve of the way Eric runs the business.
“I think based on that, I should focus on the 3% and plus the 5% why they do not recommend us too. Again, we always like all those feedback to help us become a better company.” - Eric Yuan
Zoom: The Game Changer
Christopher admires how Eric runs his company and how he epitomizes everything great about entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. He has changed the game in the B2B space in North American and now, internationally. As Christopher says, Zoom has made impossible, possible, such as the ability to work from home and collaborate with the team in different countries.
“I truly feel we just started. We look at our user base and our customer base, compared to the number of knowledge workers worldwide, I think we just started. A huge opportunity ahead of us. How to connect workers worldwide, if you look at the total market, it's also huge. Look at our revenue, we just started.” - Eric Yuan
Vision and Mission for Zoom
In the next 5 years, Eric candidly shares that he visualizes Zoom to give people a whole new experience in meeting and communicating, even aiming to replace the whole face to face meeting.
“We truly believe data communication is the future, video is the new voice. In the future, no matter where you are, no matter which device you are using, just one click, you can talk with anyone in the world. You can speak on your language and understand with real-time translation.” - Eric Yuan
Christopher also discusses with Eric the amazing marketing strategies that they employ, especially the huge advertisements in major airports in the US.
“They should leverage our technology. Since it’s good for the family and good for society as well. Our goal is to make sure our existing customer is happy. Whenever they travel, [we remind them] you already have Zoom, why do you travel often?” - Eric Yuan
To hear more about The Power of an IPO, and to learn more information about Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom Communications, download and listen to the episode.
Prior to founding Zoom, Eric was corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco's collaboration software development. Eric was one of the founding engineers and vice president of engineering at Webex. Between 1997 and 2011, he grew his team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide and contributed to revenue growth from $0 to more than $800M.
In 2017, Eric was added to the Business Insider list of the 52 Most Powerful People in Ent...
In this episode, the CEO of Athena Alliance Coco Brown talks about how to build a legendary board of directors. Coco is an entrepreneur and an advocate for women. She tells us why boards need to have fresh talents and why they need diversity on skills and people. Also, she shares why the old model of creating a board is worn out.
The Athena Alliance
Coco Brown is the CEO of Athena Alliance. It is a global community of women business leaders, committed to driving diversity on company boards and developing new women leaders.
“We're essentially bringing the top-tier women together in a digital ecosystem that provides us a lot of opportunities for them across disciplines.” - Coco Brown
Coco describes the community as in-part-Linkedin — with a portion of coaching and networking — and in-part-Bumble, because of matchmaking activities.
Male CEOs and The Outdated Board of Directors
Athena Alliance serves as an agency. The group is in contact with male CEOs who wish to expand their network with women.
Coco further shares with Christopher how outdated most companies are, in terms of the composition of their Board of Directors. In the past, the board is ultimately responsible for long term shareholder. Oftentimes, it is the reason why CEOs tend to stay long in their position, up until retirement.
“The board room needs a lot more empathy, connection, communication and understanding of the marketplace. If you look at the old board — seated with former CEOs and financial experts — the average age is 63, the average tenure is 8 1/2 years.” - Coco Brown
Building A Legendary Board
In the past, the committees are largely about CEO compensation, equities, and succession. Historically, committee topics are financials or risks. In the new world, these financial experts try to squeeze in other pressing corporate issues into those committees.
“So you’re starting to see this need for a much wider range of skills set in the board room. People who understand consumers. So good market strategists and leaders.” - Coco Brown
Moreover, she suggested to bring in more sets of people in their 30s or 40s. Ideally, she suggests contemporary professionals who are experienced with the operations.
To hear more about building a legendary Board of Directors, and more relevant information about Coco Brown, download and listen to the episode.
Coco Brown leads “change and transformation.” She is responsible for accelerating multimillion-dollar growth through vision, strategy, technology, and people leadership.
She held leadership roles including CEO, COO, President, board member, and advisor—partnering with F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits. Through her leadership, she has delivered successful outcomes for Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Silicon Valley Bank, and many others.
Currently, she is the founder, CEO, and board member of The Athena Alliance. The company is a game-changing executive firm helping to position the top 10% of executive women for advancement and board opportunities.
Since founding Athena in the Spring of 2016, she has led the organization to a network of over 1000 C-Level women, VCs, and CEOs from over 150 companies. These companies include Accenture, Cisco, Microsoft, Intuit, Autodesk, and Alphabet / Google.
Within two years, we have overseen 20 board placements and have secured $2 million in income through corporate and investor service offerings.
LinkedIn: Coco Brown
Today’s fun, informative and somewhat terrifying conversation is with Morgan Wright, Senior Advisor in the US State Department on Antiterrorism. Wright, with 18 years of state and local law enforcement experience, shares pressing stories about China, AI and what Russia did with data from FaceApp and some valuable information about quantum encryption.
An uptight, drill sergeant, with no personality...NOT!
Morgan Wright has 18 years of background with law enforcement and is a National Security opinion writer at TheHill.com. Hundreds of television interviews about security featured Morgan. New York Times best-of selling author has quoted him as well.
He had a background with behavioral assessment and damage assessment—which span from different areas of security such as bomb threats, espionage and illegal importation of dangerous drugs. Amidst these descriptions, one would expect that he is an uptight, drill sergeant with no personality, but he is definitely not.
What's up with Russian FaceApp?
In our previous episode with Tom Siebel, he quoted in his book a statement from Vladimir Putin, which reads “AI is the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind. Whoever becomes a leader of this sphere becomes the ruler of the world.”
Wright agreed with Lochhead on this quote. He said there are two things the U.S. Security is worried about now. The first one is the impact of AI and machine learning and what it can do with this information. The second one is the offensive capability of what is going on with Google, Microsoft, and China and Russia, where they are building their versions of Robocops.
“I started looking out for deepfakes not so long ago, not for this Scarlett Johansson and how you make porn stuff out of it. What if, I can show a video that appeared to be the Commanding General telling his troops to "stand down, hold on a minute" — just long enough for one of our adversaries to launch a strategic attack against us.” - Morgan Wright
More Security Threat
Wright discusses the real impact AI—from a psychological standpoint, distant information standpoint and kinetic standpoint. He further tells us facts about quantum encryption and what makes it troubling for national security.
“We now have to worry about our troops having to fight armies — that are supplied with technology by American companies.” - Morgan Wright
To hear more about security issues and more relevant information from Morgan, download and listen to the episode.
Internationally community recognizes Morgan as an expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, identity theft, and privacy.
He is President and Chief Development Officer for RadiusAI.
He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at The Center for Digital Government. In addition
, he is a national security opinion contributor to TheHill.com.
Morgan's landmark testimony before Congress on Healthcare.gov changed how the government collected personally identifiable information.
He appeared in hundreds of interviews on national news, radio, print, and web. These include CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, ABC, NPR, NBC and more. Previously, Morgan was a Senior Advisor in the US State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program. He is also a Senior Law Enforcement Advisor for the 2012 Republican National Convention.
In addition to 18 years in state and local law enforcement, Morgan has developed solutions in defense, justice, and intelligence for the largest technology companies in the world including SAIC, Unisys, Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco.
Let's get to know Codie Sanchez in today’s fun and insightful episode as she lives on the leading edge of venture capital and entrepreneurship. She is an investor, speaker and business builder. She is a partner at Cresco Capital Partners, one of the first PE funds in the legalized cannabis space.
From Great To Greater
Codie is a former mutual fund manager at Goldman Sachs and a consultant to Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. She earned her MBA from Georgetown University and received her Ph.D. from FGV in Brazil. Given her credentials, she is upfront about not staying long with her previous company nor working in the marijuana industry.
“After a while, everybody has to graduate from that realm and go do something in the world. I was feeling like it was time.” - Codie Sanchez
She started investing in cannabis privately until she saw the actual numbers and the industry growth potential. Aside from being a Venture Capitalist, she is an active advocate in lobbying for federally funded marijuana use research.
“We do a lot of stuff with Vets and see them come back from the war and have PTSD. You get them on opioids or cannabis and see the changes in their lives. Its kind of contagious at some point.” - Codie Sanchez
Lobbying at Washington
Codie recounts her story at Washington D.C. to Lochhead as she says that Cannabis is categorized as Schedule 1—drugs that have no medicinal benefit and are highly addictive.
Lochhead also shares his understanding of the issue. He says that since there is no federally funded research on the benefits, risks, problems, applications and use cases on cannabis, the country might be missing out on its potential.
“So many of them don’t know about cannabis. They know what we used to think about it, like in the 70s, the 80s, but they still don’t know the fact that this is a multi-million dollar industry.” -Codie Sanchez, on meeting with legislators
40,000 Different Uses of Mary Jane
Thanks to people like Codie, more established people are joining the cannabis movement. For instance, there is the UCLA Cannabis Institute, the only research organization branded by a school. They do have to get funding, though, from non-cannabis related companies.
Codie further shares in this episode why she thinks the cannabis industry is a generational wealth creation event. First, its a new industry, but is an overregulated one. Second, there’s no need to create a market for it. Third, the use cases are prolific—with 40,000 different ways to utilize it. Fourth, the audience's expansion of cannabis is astounding.
Cannabis is definitely not a panacea or a drug that cures everything, but research can definitely back up how it can ease certain illnesses.
To hear more about venture capital in the cannabis industry and more relevant information from Codie, download and listen to the episode.
Codie Sanchez is a reformed journalist, turned institutional investor to now a partner at Cresco Capital Partners, one of the first PE funds in the legalized cannabis space.
Throughout her career, she has worked at the intersection of marketing and money, finding contrarian ways to invest and spread the gospel.
She’s always balanced her profession with non-profit service to empower women, veterans and Latinos.
She joined Vanguard ETFs in 2008 ($870B) to build out their ETF business, quite the time, then moved to Goldman Sachs Alternatives group.
Following, she became an SVP at SSGA ($580B) in institutional investing tasked with a $3 billion region, finally coming to First Trust ($63B) to build the LatAm investment business from the ground up. Codie has led global teams in all asset classes, negotiating JV's, product creation and market entry across the Americas.
Further, she is a board member at The Arcview Group,