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This Week in Startups
Angel investor Jason Calacanis (Uber, Calm, Robinhood) interviews the world’s greatest founders, operators, investors and innovators. Get an insider’s look into venture capital, learn how to start and scale your own startup, and ride the cutting edge of technology in today’s headlines and beyond.
October 20, 2021
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson: the next $60B, Engage, Segment acquisition & more + Who actually uses Oculus? | E1308
It was great to have Jeff back on the pod! But first, Producer Rachel gives some updates on TWIST Founder Meetups (01:54) and Jason talks a bit about Oculus (14:12). Then, Jeff Lawson from Twilio joins (24:42) to discuss their new mission to build the leading customer engagement platform, the launch of their new product Twilio Engage, lessons from scaling & their big acquisitions, San Francisco and more!
October 19, 2021
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire on USDC, Tether & more + Jason reacts to Apple’s new M1 chips & MacBooks | E1307
First, Jason reacts to the most recent Apple event announcing new M1 chips & Macbooks (1:26). Then, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire (23:85) joins to discuss how USDC, what makes Circle different from Tether, regulation, and more.
October 18, 2021
How to manage customer relationships | Customer Basics with Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova | E1306
This Startup Basics is all about managing customer relationships. Tiffani Bova from Salesforce joins to talk about the ways startups can improve customer interactions, transforming one-time transactions to reoccurring relationships. Jason and Tiffani give practical tips better serve customers and keep them coming back.
October 15, 2021
Coinbase chases NFT billions + Peter Thiel “The Contrarian” with author Max Chafkin | E1305
First, Jason covers Coinbase's announcement of their new NFT platform (2:06). Then, Bloomberg's Max Chafkin joins to discuss his book, "The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power" (19:57). It's a wide-ranging discussion about Peter's life, business, and politics as well as a debate over the way Max framed him in the book.
October 14, 2021
Is Netflix over cancel culture? + Startup Checklist: Choosing a Business Model | E1304
First, Jason covers the blowback Netflix is facing from Dave Chappelle's new special "The Closer" and the masterful response from Co-CEO Ted Sarandos (2:09). Then, continuing our startup checklist series, Jason explains 10 items founders need to go through before choosing a business model (25:08).
October 13, 2021
US inherits China’s Bitcoin Mining Dynasty + Jacob Helberg on the “New Cold War” with China | E1303
Jason does a short news segment on China’s Bitcoin Mining hash rate falling to 0 and how the U.S. is now the largest mining hub (1:59). Then, Jacob Helberg author of "The Wires of War: Technology and the Global Struggle for Power," joins to discuss China's long-term goals (9:03), the United States' lack of preparedness, the struggle for control of front-end and backend technologies (32:22), plus much more.
October 12, 2021
Solana Founder Anatoly Yakovenko on scaling the blockchain to warp speed | E1302
Anatoly from Solana joins Jason to discuss how they've managed to build the fastest blockchain (0:54). Solana's "proof of history" innovation allows for over 50,000 transactions a second, we get into Solana's value prop (25:51), use cases (40:14), developer ecosystem and more!
October 11, 2021
How to understand customer engagement | Customer Basics with Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova | E1301
Startup Basics is BACK! This series focuses on one of the most important aspects of any successful startup: the customer. On episode two, Salesforce's Tiffani Bova joins to break down all things customer engagement: defining it, authenticity, blending automation with a human touch, social media strategies and more!
October 8, 2021
Tether’s hidden billions with Bloomberg’s Zeke Faux + Startup Checklist E1 | E1300
First, Jason chats with Bloomberg reporter Zeke Faux about his latest investigative piece "Tether's $69 Billion Mystery"(1:04). Then, Jason launches our news series "Startup Checklist" (31:49) which explores the things you should do to be prepared to launch a company.
October 7, 2021
Fantasy startup investing NFTs + former Tesla CTO JB Straubel’s Redwood Materials | E1299
In a short news segment, Jason talks about a company that tried to sell "fantasy startup investing" NFTs and why they had to pivot (1:44). Jason gives a brief tribute to Steve Jobs (15:48). Then, he's joined by JB Straubel, Tesla's longtime CTO who stepped down in 2019 to found a new lithium-ion battery recycling company, Redwood Materials(22:08). JB and Jason discuss the early launches and setbacks at Tesla, overcoming challenges, and the possibilities created by battery recycling. To close out the show, we play a clip of Steve Job's 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (1:20:15).
October 6, 2021
FB Whistleblower’s Senate testimony + Scorpion Capital shorts Ginkgo Bioworks, claims fraud | E1298
In this all news show, Jason covers Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen’s Senate testimony and Mark Zuckerberg's response (2:22). We also get into the fraud claims made by Scorpion Capital against Ginkgo Bioworks $DNA (1:01:35), we had Ginkgo CEO Jason Kelly on E1239
October 5, 2021
How to create great customer experience | Customer Basics with Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova | E1297
Startup Basics is BACK! This series will focus on one of the most important aspects of any successful startup: the customer. On episode one, Salesforce's Tiffani Bova joins to break down all things customer experience: defining it, what an amazing experience looks like, how startups can beat the incumbents, and more!
October 4, 2021
Facebook’s whistleblower reveal & major outage + reacting to OZY media CEO on Today Show | E1296
In this news episode, Jason covers the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's "60 minutes" interview and breaks down some clips. Then he shares the highlights and rationalizations from the OZY Media CEO's Today Show appearance.
October 1, 2021
Coinbase CEO reflects on “mission” manifesto + Kettle’s Nat Manning on fire insurance | E1295
First Jason covers Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong's reflections on last year's blog "Coinbase is a mission focused company.” Then, Nat Manning joins from Kettle, to chat about better assessing fire risk with data, how California can prevent home damage from increasing wildfires, outperforming actuaries & more.
September 30, 2021
Amazon’s AI driver supervisors, OZY media fallout, rising FEMA flood insurance, OpenScouting | E1294
Jason does a full news show breaking down: how Amazon monitors drivers with AI cameras (01:54), Tesla's new driver score (22:05), OZY Media's continued fallout (32:45), and new proposed changes for homeowners in coastal zones (42:08). Plus, Jason explains his new program OpenScouting.com
September 29, 2021
Google’s game-changing ad policy + Michael Dell on “Play Nice But Win,” stories from building a computing giant | E1293
First, Jason brings on investor, former ad tech exec, and frequent guest Zach Coelius to discuss the strategic implications of Google's new ad attribution policy (01:43). Then Michael Dell joins for for a full interview (21:54) sharing stories from the early days of building Dell, scrappy supply-chain arbitrage, global expansion, negotiations with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the $67B EMC VMware acquisition (57:40) and more!
September 28, 2021
OZY Media’s deception, VC retirement, Clubhouse’s monetization problem with The Verge’s Ashley Carman & more | E1292
First, Jason covers OZY media's attempted deception of Goldman Sachs & investors (1:50), then covers Clubhouse's monetization problem with special guest Ashley Carman from the Verge (24:26). To wrap up, he discusses VC retirements (46:30) and Disney's Star Wars Visions (56:29).
September 27, 2021
Facebook puts Instagram Kids on pause, Bevy’s high-profile firing + Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena | E1291
Jason covers Instagram's Adam Mosseri announcing the pause of Instagram Kids (2:09), the recent firing of Bevy employee following a hostile interaction in Brooklyn (21:51). Then, Squarespace Founder and CEO Anthony Casalena joins (35:43) to discuss what marketing channels have been best for growing the company, new products offerings and shares stories from scaling and more!
September 24, 2021
News! China bans crypto transactions (again), Zillow & iBuyers impacting Real Estate + Ask Jason | E1290
Jason covers China's latest crypto mandate (0:59), a TikToker's conspiracy about iBuyers and the Redfin CEO's response (17:17), then takes a bunch of Ask Jason Questions (31:42) & more!
September 24, 2021
News! EU Mandates USB-C, Facebook Files, China RE, Apple leaks, Stonkfluencers, SaaS Pod | E1289
In this all news show, Jason teases a new podcast dedicated to SaaS (1:46) and covers: the EU's planned USB-C mandate (7:44), China's property glut (13:12), TikTok Investors following congressional trades (20:24), Tim Cook's battle against leakers (25:47), the "Facebook Files" source (28:36), Bolt's 4-day workweek and more! Then he takes some listener questions (47:24).