On this episode of Venture Stories, Erik is joined by Daniel Gross, founder of Pioneer, “an online tournament for productivity.” Prior to starting Pioneer, he founded Cue, a machine learning company that was acquired by Apple.
Erik and Daniel discuss a wide variety of topics, including why saying something is “insanely great” isn’t necessarily a compliment for a founder, how to play “the video game that is life,” why the best way to get the physique you want is to move (cities), and how Twitter has reshaped the human psyche.
They discuss Pioneer and how Daniel has thought about the decisions that went into its design. He talks about his aim of creating a “digital Ivy League campus” that harnesses the mechanics of games and applies them to more productive ends. Daniel also discusses why he says that life is like "a series of infinite games.”
They also cover a number of other topics, including how Daniel thinks about friendships, the parallels between Pioneer and religion, how Daniel would change the education system, and why people will compete against each other but cooperate against an AI. They close with a game where Erik names a number of prominent individuals and Daniel talks about what he’s learned from that person.
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Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Erik is joined on this episode by Matt Garratt (@mdgarratt), managing partner at Salesforce Ventures.
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