Episodes
Robert Cottrell (@robertcottrell), editor of The Browser, joins Erik on this episode. They talk about: - The two main errors that publications made in the shift to online after the advent of the web. - Why paywalls are not an effective model. - The bond that readers have with individual writers rather than publications, and how business models could change to accommodate that. - Why long form writing is the most under-appreciated form of art today. - Lessons to learn from his prolific...
Published 08/22/19
Jeff Morris Jr. (@jmj), Director of Product, Revenue at Tinder, and investor at Chapter One, joins Erik on this episode. We sincerely apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We had technical difficulties with the recording. They discuss: - Using tech to bridge online and offline experiences. - The idea of wellness as a status symbol. - What $10B companies may have emerged ten years from now. - The future of dating apps. - Why he’s excited about ISAs. - Why tech talent might...
Published 08/20/19
Erik is joined on this episode by PJ Kershaw (@pjkershawnz), early stage investor and crypto thinker. They discuss: - Why PJ says that the current model of companies with shareholders has “reached its zenith.” - How DAOs will change the world. - How public goods can be better delivered using new models. - Lessons from Singapore. - The future of venture capital in the age of crypto. - How VC fund structure will change. - Who the LPs will be in new forms of funds. - The difference...
Published 08/16/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Lawson Baker (@lwsnbaker), head of special projects at TokenSoft. He’s also working on a new company. They talk about: * Bitcoin as the future not just of finance, but also of work. * What the internet and the future of work looks like ten years out. * The “de-evolution of the firm” and how corporations will become less important in business. * Where Lawson would be investing if he was running a venture fund. * Why prediction markets are so exciting to...
Published 08/16/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Brad Glisson (@GlissonBrad), co-founder and CEO of Quilt, formerly Thoughtblox. They discuss: - What social capital is, why it is important, and how it is distinctive from other forms of capital. - The studies around social capital and some of their insights. - How social capital impacts and intersects with reputation. - Whether a codified reputation system, like a “Yelp for people” would ever be feasible (or desirable). - What makes a great...
Published 08/13/19
We are honored to have Anne Wojcicki (@annewoj23), co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, among our small group of luminary LPs whose financial capital and engagement power the next wave of Village Global founders. She joined us in Mountain View for an intimate fireside chat with the first Chief Data Scientist for the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy, DJ Patil (@dpatil). They discussed: - Why the US healthcare system is broken. - The state of direct-to-consumer...
Published 08/11/19
Michael Dempsey (@mhdempsey), partner at Compound, joins Erik on this episode to talk through a wide array of sectors that he has delved into. (We apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We had technical difficulties during recording). They talk about: - The model and approach at Compound, including how writing definitive blog posts about a particular industry fits into their investing strategy. - The state of robotics today, including why he’s not as bullish on robots in...
Published 08/08/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Nicolas Colin, co-founder and director of The Family, and author of Hedge: A Greater Safety Net For The Entrepreneurial Age. They discuss: - Why in the future we can expect more social change from tech companies than from government. - The key functions of version 1.0 of the social safety net. - How to solve the problem that most jobs are located in cities, but cities are also mostly unaffordable. - Why the 21st century will be more like the 19th century...
Published 08/06/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Danielle Strachman (@DStrachman) and Mike Gibson (@William_Blake), co-founders and general partners at 1517 Fund. They also both worked extensively on the Thiel Fellowship. They discuss: - The story of the genesis of the Thiel Fellowship. - The lessons learned from running the Fellowship. - Their idiosyncratic paths to running a venture capital fund. - The signals they relied on to find the right applicants. - How to change how higher ed works in the...
Published 08/04/19
Alex Tabarrok (@ATabarrok), economist and author, joins Erik on this episode for a wide-ranging discussion. They talk about: - The contributions of economics to society over the past several decades and the biggest challenges ahead for the field - What “the great forgetting” means in economics and why bad ideas from the past keep coming back - The arguments for open borders - Why Alex thinks we should focus on increasing the number of police as opposed to increasing punishment for...
Published 08/01/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Seth Rosenberg (@SethGRosenberg), investor at Greylock, and Sheel Mohnot (@pitdesi), fintech investor at 500 Startups. They talk about: - The biggest opportunities in fintech today. - How traditional finance can be rebuilt from the ground up using software. - How to think about different market segments in fintech. - Their requests for startups in the space. - Why the big companies in fintech are converging on the same set of features. - Facebook’s...
Published 07/31/19
Samo Burja (@SamoBurja), founder of Bismarck Analysis, joins Erik for this episode. You can find him on Medium at medium.com/@samo.burja. In this episode they discuss: - Why certain societies flourish while others decay - Where Samo stands on the nature versus nurture debate - Why he has “yet to hear a satisfying description of human social life” - The lessons we can learn from places like Singapore - The difference between the view of government as resource for the people versus the...
Published 07/27/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Daniel Pianko (@danielpianko), co-founder and managing director of University Ventures, and Andy Hall (@AndyHall_SD), COO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. They talk about: - How ISAs have been able to transform lives through Andy’s program in San Diego. - Why tech titans providing massive amounts of money for scholarships is a suboptimal way of getting underprivileged people into school. - The chasm between work and school in America. - The fact...
Published 07/25/19
On this episode Erik is joined by Chuck Trafton (@chucktrafton), of FlowPoint and edly, and Will Nelligan (@williamnelligan), of the Education Finance Institute. They talk about: - Why there needs to be a marketplace for ISAs. - How ISAs ensure that schools have “skin in the game.” - The problems with student loans. - The mechanics of ISA repayment and the ways in which they are progressive. - Why ISAs provide a unique opportunity for investors. - How ISAs can fix some of the perverse...
Published 07/23/19
Robert Wright (@robertwrighter), author of Nonzero, The Moral Animal, Why Buddhism Is True, and others, joins Erik on this episode. They discuss: - The common theme of exploring the meaning of life that Robert says runs through all of his books. - Whether global governance could be feasible and how positive-sum thinking can play a part in reducing hostilities between nations. - Why consciousness gives life meaning. - How to deal with the quest for status. - The emotional manipulation...
Published 07/21/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Glen Weyl (@glenweyl), founder of RadicalxChange and co-author of Radical Markets, and Tomer Kagan (@Gradish), co-founder and CEO of Merit. They discuss: - What they’re working on in the space and how it will change how identity works in the future - How to think about what makes up someone’s identity, including elements that are self-declared and those that can be independently verified - Glen’s point that the internet is missing two crucial elements: a...
Published 07/18/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Trae Vassallo (@trae) of Defy and Lee Edwards (@terronk) of Root Ventures. They talk about: - How their backgrounds and unique experiences have informed their perspectives on investing - Whether venture capital should go back to funding technical risk - Their advice for funds and how Trae has seen investing strategies come and go over time - Why there are big opportunities in areas VCs don’t know much about, like logistics, warehousing, or...
Published 07/16/19
Mike Elias (@harmonylion1), crypto consultant, joins Erik on this episode to talk about idea markets. They discuss: - How he came up with the idea - Examples of how this could be implemented in the real world - The problems with the incentives of the world’s media - Why it’s “impossible to kill an idea with force” - How an idea market is like a mix of the Nasdaq and Reddit - Why, as a society, we want to search for the ideas that are both “outrageous and true” - Why William James said...
Published 07/14/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Alex Taussig (@ataussig) of Lightspeed, and Pete Flint (@peteflint) of NFX. They talk about: - The evolution of marketplaces over time, including a comparison of the characteristics of eBay and Lyft at the time they went public. - Why the next wave of marketplace businesses will be in financial services, and why they require a unique team with a specific set of experiences. - Examples of existing startups that are working in this space, as well as their...
Published 07/11/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Mike Maples (@m2jr) of Floodgate. The talk about: - The difference between fake growth and real growth, and how to know which one your company is experiencing. - Why fake growth has taken hold in so many companies in the Valley, and its broader systemic causes. - The difference between value hacking and growth hacking. - Why once you’ve entered the growth stage, it’s next to impossible to go back to the value hacking stage. - His thoughts on the Thiel...
Published 07/09/19
Alex Bangash (@AlexBangash), founder of Trusted Insight, joins Erik as part of our LP series. They talk about: - The myth, according to Alex, that there are such things as “good pickers” in venture. - The fact that in venture, the traditional investment model is turned on its head — assets are picking managers, rather than the other way around. - Why “the structural advantage of the big funds has all but disappeared” and why he cringes when someone tells him they want to be the next...
Published 07/07/19
Michael Kim (@MKRocks), founder and managing partner of Cendana Capital, joins Erik on this episode to talk about what LPs look for in venture funds and the future of the industry. They discuss: - The reasons for the proliferation of seed funds over the past few years. - The rise of the "super angels." - Why portfolio construction is so important to Cendana when they're looking at a fund. - How he evaluates a fund to see whether their thesis can generate the right returns. - Why he’s...
Published 07/04/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Beezer (Elizabeth) Clarkson (@Beezer232), managing director at Sapphire Ventures, and Chris Douvos (@cdouvos), founder of Ahoy Capital. They talk about: - The state of the venture industry and the industry from the LP perspective. - Why venture is “either all about access or audacity.” - How LPs pick which funds to back. - Whether there is too much capital in the venture capital asset class. - What “dilettante capital” is and why there are more “clowns”...
Published 07/02/19
On this special live episode of Venture Stories, Bill Gates was interviewed at San Francisco’s Exploratorium by Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite. We are honored to have Bill Gates, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, among our small group of luminary LPs whose financial capital and engagement power the next wave of Village Global founders.  They covered: * Gates’s entrepreneurial journey starting Microsoft, including the most important turning points in the...
Published 06/30/19
This episode is a conversation between George Gilder (@ScandalOfMoney), author, investor, writer and economist, Patrick Stanley (@PatrickWStanley), head of growth at Blockstack, and Erik Torenberg, partner and co-founder of Village. It was originally released on The Stacks Podcast presented by Blockstack. They talk about: - Gilder’s Information Theory, and why it is central to everything, including the world economy and biology. - Why Gilder says that “wealth is really knowledge,” why...
Published 06/27/19