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Author: The Morins and The Lessins

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For 15 years, entrepreneurs and investors the Morins and the Lessins have debated the future of Silicon Valley and tech as the closest of friends. Now six companies, two venture funds and more than a decade at Google, Apple and Facebook later, they are opening up the debate. From The Information, Offline Ventures, and Slow Ventures.

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37 Episodes
Fresh from an investor conference in Los Angeles, the gang discusses the week's headlines and the behind-the-scenes scuttle from one of tech's elite gatherings.  Articles Discussed How Apple’s Eight-Year Quest to Build a Self-Driving Car Hit Roadblocks Consumer Startups Are a Better Bet Than Enterprise Startups Show Notes 00:00:11 - Intro00:01:33 - More or Less Business Models00:03:15 - Upfront Summit Insights00:04:21 - Event Networking Dynamics00:04:56 - South by Southwest Comparisons00:05:54 - Hollywood's Shift to AI for Scenes00:07:41 - Upfront Summit vs. More or Less Podcast00:08:02 - Football Docuseries Recommendations00:09:29 - Vision Pro's Use Cases00:10:15 - Apple's Electric Vehicle Project Shutdown00:11:58 - Apple's Growth and Future Direction00:13:32 - Big Companies and Market Mapping00:15:16 - Apple's Approach to New Markets00:17:29 - Apple's Retreat from the Car Business00:18:08 - Apple's Focus on Personal Technology00:19:23 - Self-Driving Cars and AI Challenges00:20:03 - Apple's AI and Chip Future00:21:29 - Google's PR Crisis with Gemini Chatbot00:22:12 - The Liability of LLMs and AI Models00:23:21 - Google's Response to Gemini's Issues00:24:45 - Google's RoboCity and AI Testing00:25:22 - Google's Next Moves After Gemini Backlash00:26:50 - Apple's Next Trillion-Dollar Market00:27:13 - Apple's Potential AI and Software Focus00:28:08 - Clarifying Apple's Mission with Personal Tech00:29:02 - Apple's Strategy and Spatial Computing00:30:07 - Tech Industry's Business Cuts00:31:01 - Meta's Oculus and Business Decisions00:33:47 - Pixel Fold's Popularity00:34:57 - Pop Culture Corner and Taylor Swift's Influence on Camera Sales00:37:25 - Suits Spinoff in Los Angeles00:38:44 - Kate Middleton's Hospital Stay?00:40:07 - Petty Crime Podcast Idea00:41:58 - Consumer vs. Enterprise Tech Returns Debate00:43:10 - AI's Impact on Consumer Tech Revolution00:44:39 - Wrap Up --- Send in a voice message:
Plus, inside Sequoia's Klarna drama and the latest AI demos Show Notes 00:00 Introductions 03:00 The Potential of Reddit Advertising 09:00 Licensing Data and Monetization Challenges 13:00 The Moderation Challenge of Reddit 18:00 Private Group Moderation and Content Control 22:00 Failed Coup at Klarna 26:00 Tensions and Divisions in Late-Stage Pre-IPO Companies 30:00 The OpenAI Board Situation 31:00 Apple's New Sports App 33:12 Moon Landing and Advertising 33:45 Tech Companies and NBA Streaming Rights 34:27 Betting Odds in Digital Formats 36:15 Frequent Sports Betting 37:03 Tennis and Sports Rights 37:41 Pop Culture Corner: Movies and Oscars 40:00 Beyonce's Country Song and Marketing 43:02 OpenAI's Sora and Marketing Strategies 44:41 The Importance of Marketing in Startups 50:47 Building Trust through Individuals 53:24 Community Building and Brand Ownership --- Send in a voice message:
#34: 7 Trillion Reasons Why

#34: 7 Trillion Reasons Why


The gang unpacks all the latest news about OpenAI and Sam Altman. Plus, does Google have a shot in AR/VR? And our dream Vision Pro apps. Takeaways Sports media has become a successful form of linear storytelling in the internet age, creating a national monoculture. The globalization of sports presents challenges in creating a unified global sports event. The Vision Pro and Quest devices offer different experiences, with the Vision Pro being more suitable for work and the Quest providing a more immersive gaming experience. There is a debate on the potential role of Google in the face computer market, with some believing that Google's strategy may not be successful. The Vision Pro and Quest strategies have different focuses, with the Vision Pro being more spatial computing oriented. The potential of spatial computing and its impact on social software is a topic of interest and exploration. Communication and social interaction in the Vision Pro present challenges that need to be addressed. There is excitement and positive impressions of the Vision Pro, with potential for professional and enterprise applications. Agents and their role in AI are gaining attention, with potential for enhancing various tasks and workflows. OpenAI's plan to raise $7 trillion for AI chips is seen as absurd and lacking credibility. Tech leaders making outrageous statements can harm the perception of the tech industry and overshadow the serious work being done. The episode highlights the need for rational and disciplined business practices in the tech industry. Show Notes 00:00:46 - Introduction and Welcome 00:00:57 - The Full Quad Gathered 00:02:50 - AI News Discussion 00:03:02 - Vision Pro Analysis 00:03:45 - Missed Pop Culture Corner 00:04:58 - Superbowl and Taylor Swift Discussion 00:07:40 - Brock Purdy's Super Bowl Performance 00:08:26 - Sports Documentary Entertainment Genre 00:10:52 - Sports Media as the Final Frontier 00:12:13 - National vs. International Sports 00:13:06 - The Monoculture of Sports 00:14:04 - NBA and Global Sports Tournaments 00:15:00 - The Flailing Olympics 00:15:41 - The Decline of Olympic Storytelling 00:17:14 - AI News and Vision Pro 00:17:43 - Vision Pro vs. Oculus 00:18:06 - Vision Pro as a Work Machine 00:18:17 - Oculus Content and Games 00:18:49 - Camera and Social Potential 00:19:20 - Spatial Computing 00:20:24 - Google's XR Software Shift 00:21:19 - Android vs. iOS in XR Space 00:25:01 - Content-Driven Business Models for XR 00:25:43 - Vision Pro's Unique Position in XR 00:26:09 - The Potential of the Spatial Internet 00:29:05 - Social Software Challenges 00:35:20 - Developer and Creator Interest in Vision Pro 00:38:03 - Zillow Gone Wild and Vision Pro Ideas 00:38:44 - Music Video Apps  00:39:45 - Gaming and Social Apps 00:41:37 - Professional Apps 00:42:07 - Aviation Apps 00:45:59 - AI News 00:46:23 - OpenAI's Agent 00:46:46 - Brett Taylor's New Company Launch 00:47:17 - OpenAI Search Product 00:49:20 - Google's AI Rebranding to Gemini 00:51:34 - OpenAI's $7 Trillion Semiconductor Funding Strategy 00:53:43 - The Era of Absurdist Capitalism? 00:54:03 - The OpenAI Governance Crisis 00:55:11 - A Rational Comparison to the US Budget 01:00:15 - The Tree Removal Story 01:02:09 - Episode Wrap-Up and Thanks --- Send in a voice message:
As the Morin household goes full Vision Pro, the gang reveals what everyone is missing about the device. Plus, the earthquake through digital media and (maybe) the end of AI everything. Takeaways The Apple Vision Pro offers a truly immersive and transformative experience, changing the way users think about computing. The Vision Pro represents a new computing paradigm and has the potential to expand into various devices and accessories. Developers will play a crucial role in exploring and innovating new use cases for the Vision Pro. The joint streaming service for sports by major networks reflects the significance of sports in the media industry and the growing demand for streaming sports content. Streaming services are disrupting the traditional cable industry, but the challenge lies in the fragmentation of content and the lack of a comprehensive aggregator. The demand for a comprehensive sports package remains high, as sports fans struggle to find a streaming service that offers all the games they want to watch. Esports has not yet reached its full potential in the United States, as it lacks the community engagement and water cooler conversations that traditional sports have. The venture capital industry is constantly evolving, but the key to success remains investing in the few companies that truly matter. AI is no longer a standalone category in venture capital, but rather a tool that is integrated into various industries and sectors. Show Notes 00:00 Introduction and Special Guest 03:01 Discussion on Apple Vision Pro 11:00 Impressions and Potential of Apple Vision Pro 17:26 Competition and Future of Apple Vision Pro 25:08 Developer Perspective on Apple Vision Pro 34:48 Discussion on Joint Streaming Service for Sports 35:44 Streaming and the Cable Industry 36:13 Challenges of Streaming Bundles 37:40 Need for a Sports Package 39:05 Competition and Market Share in Streaming 41:37 Future of TV News 43:24 Challenges of Esports 50:28 The Changing Landscape of Venture Capital 52:06 Evolution of AI in Venture Capital --- Send in a voice message:
In a special episode, the gang sits down with two digital media veterans and stars to discuss the current era of digital fame, the future of YouTube, TikTok, what A.I. means for creators, and more. Takeaways The rise of small creators and the viability of their work is a result of the democratization of content creation and the ability to build communities of fans. The shift from physical space to online identity has allowed individuals to define their uniqueness and value based on their voice and audience rather than their geographical location. The challenges of fame and the entitlement of fans can impact creators' mental health and privacy. AI has the potential to revolutionize content creation by providing powerful tools for creators and elevating those with a unique perspective. AI also has the potential to desensitize people to personal conversations and wash away the value of authenticity. Investment in personal outreach and one-on-one conversations holds significant power and can create meaningful connections. Refined bullshit sensors have developed due to the abundance of AI-generated content, leading to skepticism and a desire for raw and real interactions. The value of effort and authenticity in content creation cannot be replaced by AI-generated perfection. Show Notes 00:00:04 - Introduction 00:01:07 - Broadcasting from Lessinfest in Jackson Hole 00:02:40 - Origin of Podcast Title 00:05:48 - Tech World Updates 00:06:09 - Elon Musk's Pay Package Lawsuit 00:09:28 - Delaware's Influence on Corporate Governance 00:10:18 - Amazon and iRobot Deal 00:11:08 - Mergers and Acquisitions Climate 00:12:16 - Super Bowl 2024 Predictions 00:13:16 - Taylor Swift's Impact on the NFL 00:14:04 - Cultural Significance of Taylor Swift 00:15:25 - Changing World of Creators and Media 00:16:05 - Fandom and Influencer Shifts 00:18:04 - NFL and Celebrity Integration 00:19:47 - Megastars vs. Long Tail of Influencers 00:20:24 - Fandom and Community Support 00:21:44 - Middle Class of Celebrity 00:22:39 - MrBeast's Universal Appeal 00:23:35 - Niche Appeal and Creator Identity 00:24:36 - Creator Burnout and Quitting YouTube 00:25:14 - Creator Fame and Mental Health 00:26:30 - Parasocial Relationships with Podcasters 00:27:37 - Younger Generations Rejecting Social Media 00:28:13 - Personal Connection vs. AI Interactions 00:32:00 - There Is No Fame Like YouTube Fame 00:33:11 - Public Perception of Fame 00:34:02 - New York City's Attitude Towards Celebrities 00:35:16 - Maintaining Privacy and Safety as a Creator 00:36:28 - AI's Impact on the Creator Economy 00:38:49 - AI and the Value of Personal Outreach 00:39:26 - AI Enhancing Creator-Fan Interaction? 00:40:09 - AI's Potential to Devalue Personal Investment 00:41:06 - AI Brit and Real Brit 00:42:19 - TikTok's Creative Tools 00:46:10 - AI as a Tool for Creators 00:48:17 - AI and the Perception of Authenticity 00:53:48 - AI and the Value of Human Connection 00:55:25 - AI and the Devaluation of Perfection 00:57:23 - Pop Culture Corner --- Send in a voice message:
From Netflix to the NFL, the incumbents are having quite a moment. Plus, crypto's new energy and the gang's fiercely different views on.... peptides. Show Notes 00:00 Introduction and Silicon Valley banter 01:03 Discussion about football and personal influences 03:15 Challenges in the news and startup landscape 06:50 Struggles of fintech companies like Brex 08:11 Success of Netflix and the streaming wars 09:11 Difficulties of platformization in fintech 15:22 Investing in fintech and the challenges of valuation 20:31 Future of Stripe and the fintech industry 24:39 Network effect and competition in the payments industry 27:22 Need for a unique business model to compete with incumbents 28:20 Impact of crypto on transaction costs 28:41 Promise of Crypto 30:21 Rise of Stablecoins 32:41 Future of Payments 37:31 Success of Netflix 46:27 Re-Bundling of Streaming Services 49:16 Power of Big Players 53:21 Future of Media 53:54 Impact of Apple TV 54:26 Oscar Nominations and Movie Lengths 55:29 The Influence of TikTok 57:32 Future of Robotics in Beauty and Wellness 58:51 Wellness Gadgets and Peptides 01:00:41 Introducing Paul and His Gaming Startup 01:02:19 Closing Remarks --- Send in a voice message:
As regulators move in, the gang discusses the future of Apple and Google's app stores and their role over the next decade. Plus, the new layoff normal and Silicon Valley gets classy. SHOW NOTES 00:00 Opening and Introductions 01:11 Working with Partners 03:14 The Information Gala and Dress Code 03:45 NFL Playoffs and Sports Betting 07:02 Layoffs at YouTube and Privacy Changes 11:29 Apple Allowing Third-Party Payment Mechanisms 14:56 Frustrations with the App Store 16:21 Importance and Future of the App Store 21:20 Rabbit R1 and AI Powered Gadgets 27:31 ChatGPT App Store as a Potential Competitor to the Apple App Store? 28:23 Difference in Distribution Advantage between the ChatGPT App Store and Facebook Platform 29:05 Importance of Distribution Opportunities for Developers on New Platforms 30:03 Collapse of the Economic Model of Facebook Platform and the Potential Challenges for the ChatGPT App Store 32:55 Potential Advantage of Google Integrating a Bard App Store 33:30 Uncertainty of Monetization and Revenue Opportunities for Developers on AI App Stores 36:05 Long-Term Competition between Apple, Google, Meta, and Adobe in the AI and Platform Space 42:43 Debate on the App Store's Anti-Competitive Practices 46:04 Potential of AI to Make Google Services Stickier 47:41 Use of AI and Language Learning Apps for Children 48:47 Announcement of a New Season of More or Less and Future Plans --- Send in a voice message:
In the first pod of 2024, the gang previews the year in VC to come and OpenAI vs. NYT. Plus, layoffs, boomerang VC and Brit's oh-so-Brit resolution. --- Send in a voice message:
The gang does a retro on their 2023 calls…from AI to Vision Pro (we couldn’t come up with a Z)…and makes predictions for tech, media, and capital in 2024. BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:The Creative Act, A Way of Being by Rick RubinThe Order of Time by Carlo RovelliProject Hail Mary by Andy WeirTomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin SHOW NOTES:00:00 Introduction and Holiday Reflections03:06 The Adobe-Figma Merger05:35 The Pro-Capitalism Argument06:52 Antitrust Laws and Government Intervention09:03 The Valuation and Future of M&A16:07 Reviewing VC and IPO Predictions18:32 The Future of Remote Work30:00 Twitter and the Rise of Threads40:20 Appreciating Instagram and the Future of Social41:19 The Slow Future of Threads42:33 Compliments and Bromance43:14 Predictions for Audio and Video Experiences43:39 The Return of Path44:17 Apple Vision Pro and the Future of MR46:24 Spatial Video and Memories47:10 Losing Memory and Talking to Ourselves48:43 AI Layoffs and Clip Art Music50:48 Taylor Swift and Creator AI 52:22 More Crypto Predictions57:12 TikTok's Fate and the Chaotic Presidential Election59:39 Pickleball Rollups and Crypto Launches01:01:26 Expecting the Unexpected in 202401:08:23 Book Recommendations01:10:29 Closing Remarks and Farewell TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
The gang discusses the Harvard debacle (and Sam's run for the Board of Overseers), why double-bottom lines are challenging, tech regulation, and more. DISCUSSED: The 19th News SHOW NOTES: [00:00] Opening. [01:10] We have a non-zero hit rate on making things things. [01:50] How did we start the pod? [03:01] The parable of launching a rocket at the moon. [04:23] This week's headlines. [06:28] Venture Capital Strategy: Why go super vertical? [10:56] Guess the Product: Is it a Cold Plunge a Shiftwave Chair or ??? [14:03] Wild new moisture farming technology. [18:03] The big debate: Harvard, nonprofit governance, and the future of society. [21:31] Sam is now running as a write in candidate for the Harvard Board of Overseers. [24:40] Has business become too big? Or has business just become too weird? [25:55] The tale of two Twitters: one missionary, one capitalist. [29:01] How do you solve for leadership in a woke world moving forward? [29:45] Is there a strong argument that nonprofits should not exist? [33:15] The problem with "make number go up". [35:34] Isn't it the case that all organization exist at some intersection of "number go up" and values? [37:00] The dirty secret of nonprofits: they have to raise money. [37:36] What happens when institutions become too rich that they no longer listen to external feedback? [38:51] The bigger question about the gap between the board and the people at these institutions. [39:46] Is this a transient property of internet culture? [42:32] Quick return to talking about TikTok governance. [45:55] Jess plugs one of her favorite nonprofit, 19th News, which exists to cover all of the range of topics and polices and ideas that relate to women. [49:28] Brit is heading to the California Governor's Mansion to the California Gender Equity Summit. [52:50] Closing. TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
The gang discusses the release of Google Gemini...the crypto resurgence, crystals and the Cybertruck. DISCUSSED: Introducing Gemini: our largest and most capable AI model Millions of new materials discovered with deep learning The Top 100 Articles from The Information’s First 10 Years The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen Top Gear: Tesla Cybertruck DRIVEN! SHOW NOTES: [0:00:00] Opening. [0:02:15] Very Very Happy Birthday to Brit Morin! Questions about automated birthday messages. [0:03:20] Idea: Automated Birthday Greeting AI Thing [0:04:24] Idea: AI Responder [0:07:13] Headlines: Next volley in the AI wars with Google launching the Gemini AI Model, more layoffs at Spotify, media news with Disney finishing acquiring the rest of Hulu from Comcast, more bad news in venture capital land with a Boston based firm closing it's doors, and some book recommendations. [0:09:35] The Information Wrapped: With The Information turning 10 this week, what are Jess' big lessons? Biggest stories? [0:11:35] Google AI: What are the implications of powerful multi-modal models like Gemini? [0:13:59] Impressive More or Less Show Notes brought to you by Google Gemini. [0:14:57] It was always ridiculous to count Google out. Of course they were going to build really interesting stuff. [0:16:50] An even more interesting Google AI Announcement: DeepMind's breakthrough in discovering millions of new crystals and other materials. [0:21:10] Don't forget Meta AI: WhatsApp Bots, Meta Imagine, and Meta buying the most Nvidia H100s in the world. [0:23:05] The Big Product Strategy Question: You're running Google or Meta, what is your AI rollout strategy? [0:32:28] VC Temperature Check: Firms shutting down, IPOs were suppose to come but did not really come, yet crypto is ripping? [0:35:45] Next Phase of Crypto: We are now in the phase of crypto where we are starting to connect these technologies to the real world. [0:37:14] Crypto, Fandom, and CRM 3.0: Giving creators the power to engage more deeply with their fandoms. [0:41:33] The pitches in crypto have finally become good business pitches. [0:41:58] So where are we on crypto tokens now? [0:43:55] Happy Birthday to Brit again! [0:44:47] Book Recommendation: The Organized Mind - Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload [0:47:34] A More or Less Book Proposal: Is our date night an ops meeting or a date night? [0:48:45] Book Recommendation: How to Know a Person - The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen [0:49:50] Cybertruck: Thoughts on the Tesla Cybertruck design, and engineering. [0:52:25] Closing. TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
The gang details thoughts on AGI risk and dives into the more immediate risks of AI, like why TikTok should be banned in the US and what to do about AI porn and deepfakes. Plus, startup product ideas abound as Dave, Sam and Brit debate what the future holds (both good and bad) for couples counseling, social media and entertainment. SHOW NOTES: [00:00:00] Open. [00:04:44] The question is not what AI can do, the question is what AI can't do. [00:07:50] Questions of AI governance around TikTok. [00:10:47] Should we be teaching AI in schools? [00:15:25] AI porn and its impact. [00:19:07] What does the future look like where AI porn is just normal? [00:21:04] Protecting teenagers from AI deepfakes. [00:24:22] The rising importance of real world experiences and communities. [00:27:21] AI technology weaving into social fabric. [00:32:55] What is the addiction after the addiction of TikTok? Does social networks become not who do you want to follow but who do you want to follow you? [00:35:34] What if you could pay to introduce hilarious characters into real life? [00:38:43] What if app features were only available for one month? [00:40:47] The power of human networks. [00:44:06] The power of storytelling. [00:46:21] Improving social connections with technology. [00:49:19] Close. TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
DISCUSSED: For this bonus episode of More or Less, last month at The Information's WTF Conference, Jessica interviewed the sisters behind the hot clothing brand Favorite Daughter, the World's First Podcast and Oversubscribed Ventures. They discussed entrepreneurship, building for today's customers and why it is sometimes a good idea to say everything you are thinking. SHOW NOTES: [00:03:06] Embrace being underestimated, say yes. [00:06:05] Embrace opportunities outside your comfort zone. [00:12:38] Authenticity drives successful consumer brands. [00:16:43] Podcasting is a low-lift, enjoyable endeavor. [00:19:29] Life doesn't always go as planned. [00:25:32] Associate with smarter people. [00:33:27] Importance of direct communication. [00:35:35] Expansion into new categories planned. TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
This week’s episode takes you front and center into the continuous unfolding of the OpenAI saga, including the different versions of the Sam Altman persona. The quad shares extensive debate on what could come next and why, with key insight into AI as a practical business technology vs. the fears around AGI, and the challenges of a for-profit business funding a non-profit mission. Listen in to learn lessons from other platforms, (especially those without strong economic rationality), observations about the key people involved, thoughts on how this will shape Silicon Valley’s future, and more. DISCUSSED: SHOW NOTES: [00:00:00] Open. [00:02:10] Recap: Our goal is to talk about the bigger picture here. [00:04:10] The rise of the Popcorn emoji. [00:04:52] This is our Kardashians. [00:05:58] Why are people fixated on this? [00:09:30] Religious fundamentalism at play. "Feel the AGI!" [00:12:49] The only way to protect against AGI is to create AGI first? [00:14:20] How did this governance breakdown happen? [00:17:51] Anytime you need a flowchart to explain your org structure you are starting from a bad position. [00:19:00] 11 billion dollars is completely irrelevant to Microsoft, a 3 trillion dollar company. [00:20:00] The key point in the miscalculation: the customers. [00:22:30] Adam D'Angelo is one of the highest integrity people. [00:23:41] Organizing your life and work around things you can trust. Do you want to trust American business and governance or fundamentalism? [00:24:13] The economics of Facebook Platform as a historical example. [00:26:55] Should he restructure the organization entirely? [00:28:04] Shouldn't we have some concerns with putting this 100% commercial realm? Or do we think regulation will fill the gap? [00:28:42] What about decentralization and open source? [00:31:02] What mechanism is there to implement a restructuring? [00:34:48] Sam Altman's side projects. [00:41:20] This technology is so powerful and we are all customers of it. [00:42:07] Do you guys have a single portfolio company that would die if OpenAI went away? [00:42:40] Silicon Valley desperately needs a story right now. [00:43:30] What does this mean for the future of Silicon Valley? [00:44:04] How dangerous is AI, really? [00:45:20] Sam Altman the cultist versus Sam Altman the pragmatist? [00:46:40] What is this technology, really? [00:47:51] You are the OpenAI board, do you vote for or against Sam Altman as CEO? [00:54:25] You are Sam Altman, what do you do? [01:00:07] Trust and board strurcture. [01:04:00] Close. TRY THE GPT: FOLLOW THE POD: FOLLOW THE GANG: --- Send in a voice message:
The gang discusses how you build dense networks of real value around small business in the AI future. Also, bonus discussion on content maxis vs. community maxis...and the symmetry of Jessica's face. Try the More or Less GPT: --- Send in a voice message:
The gang discusses OpenAI's developer conference and whether the new ‘GPT Store’ is a serious platform developers and entrepreneurs should care about, or just another slick PR announcement. Also thoughts on the IPO market (why bankers keep saying it isn’t open, but will soon) and way too much discussion of The Morning (After) Show. --- Send in a voice message:
The gang shares predictions around AI for the year ahead. Are we at digital war and don't even know it? Thoughts on defining an "American Tech Stack" and digital citizenship to defend against foreign speech and bots - and how to think about academia in an era where universities and research are no longer disconnected from politics and business. Discussed Greeking Out from National Geographic Kids Photoleap by Lightricks AI Photo Editing App Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence ⁠FACT SHEET: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence⁠ New: Leica M11-P Show Notes [00:00:00] Opening [00:01:37] Halloween and the Greeking Out Podcast [00:03:17] Brit hosted a Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest. [00:03:36] Investing in Dog DNA Startups [00:05:55] Product Idea: AI Dog [00:06:25] AI Ninja Tricks [00:07:50] The Big Debate: The Biden Executive Order on "Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence"⁠⁠ [00:10:36] We need National Tech Stacks. [00:15:28] Every single Federal Agency was directed to appoint a Head of AI. [00:18:35] Lack of transparency at [00:19:31] The difference between academic research and application has collapsed and it is dangerous. [00:20:50] OpenAI took research from the Google world and commercialized it. [00:21:20] National AI research should be like the Manhattan Project. [00:22:39] The Executive Order invokes the Defense Production Act. [00:24:03] We have an AI War already playing out on American Turf and it is called TikTok. [00:24:22] We are at war in the technological world and we have no defenses in terms of how this is playing out on our home front. [00:25:20] We are going to look back in 20 years and realize "Oh my God, we were actually at war, and we were being assaulted on the home front but we don't even fully recognize the attack." [00:25:30] What is going to happen in 2024? [00:26:10] Silicon Valley technologist are good at problems where a "solution" is the goal, but are uniquely bad at Washington style problems where "balance" is the goal. [00:27:29] We need to take the American Tech Stack very very seriously. [00:28:35] TikTok's Larry Ellison Proposal for continuing to exist in the US. [00:29:20] Why aren't conservatives demanding action on this? [00:29:53] If we are in a war, where are we in it? [00:30:16] American Identity and Digital Citizenship [00:32:00] What is the American Tech Stack really? [00:37:14] A hypothetical question: How would you change a government you don't like with AI? [00:39:32] Does digital identity really have to be tied to a single country? [00:41:48] Our generation has the most skewed view of globalization in history. [00:45:50] Where did this conversation start? It started with AI. [00:46:50] AI Predictions for the next year. [00:56:04] Closing --- Send in a voice message:
Following news at Snap, the gang debates what the media gets wrong about founders and how founders need to react in this new market. Discussed Show Notes (00:00) Opening (06:05) Evan Spiegel's Persistence and Motivation (11:25) Founders and Product as Powerful Motivating Force (15:39) Challenges of Starting Over from Scratch (19:36) Balancing Product and Business Strategy (29:54) The End of the Product-Focused CEO?  (37:02) Crypto Market Update and Outlook --- Send in a voice message:
The Morins and the Lessins debate how to solve misinformation across even legacy media sites. Plus, prepping for VCs' big annual reports to shareholders. Discussed Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depression Effective for Up to a Year for Most Patients, Study Shows Slow evolution of a NYTimes headline. "Israeli Strike" -> "Strike" -> "Blast" After Hospital Blast, Headlines Shift With Changing Claims What To Do About Misinformation in the Upcoming Election Cycle? Show Notes [00:00:00] Intro and Check In [00:01:46] RIP Dr. Roland Griffiths, Johns Hopkins scientist who proved psilocybin is the cure for depression.  [00:05:39] AGM Season. What are AGMs?  [00:08:05] The big topic: Misinformation and The New York Times [00:11:17] How did this happen? Where is the accountability in media? [00:15:58] The importance of being right not first.  [00:20:19] How we get our information.  [00:22:37] Trust in the media. [00:25:56] Should influencers know each other more deeply as humans?  [00:29:38] Civilization vs Not-Civilization.  [00:33:40] Building bridges through conversation.  [00:35:23] The role of colleges.  [00:37:41] AR and VR's are anti-social technology. [00:41:30] Social networks cracking down. [00:46:26] More questions about the end of the factory model of venture capital.  [00:48:57] Are we really not investing in AI startups? [00:52:03] Capital is just gone. [00:54:51] Backing founders without safety nets. [00:55:00] Wrap Up --- Send in a voice message:
The Morins and Lessins discuss the urgent questions Hamas’ terrorism against Israel raises for tech companies. Plus, how leaders should—and should not—respond to the attacks. Show Notes [0:00] Intro [0:36] Opening Discussion [2:03] It is a very important and troubling time in the world. Sharing some of our thoughts as a group. [2:10] Impossible to not talk about the Israel and Hamas situation. [2:15] We are not a political podcast nor are we political experts. We are tech people. [2:25] This podcast is going to be about the tech side of it and the important tech stories about it.  [2:30] We are floored and upset. The situation with Hamas is beyond comprehension. They are a terrorist organization. What they’ve done, the atrocities, are beyond pale. [2:49] We wish the Israeli people the best in doing the extremely painful and hard work ahead. Which clearly has to be done.  [3:03] On the tech front, 3 things on the agenda to talk about: 1. Funding and LPs in this era: As a company or a fund how do you think about who’s funding you and who you’re funding in light of the geopolitical situation? 2. Social Networks and News: Section 230, the US election in 14 months, AI is now a thing.  3. Tech Leaders and the interesting thing about who can say what on the internet. [4:46] Debate about tech leaders' statements on the situation. Note of the lack of strong condemnation of Hamas among tech leaders. [13:15] Suggestion that tech leaders may be hesitant to speak out strongly due to security concerns. [15:52] Debate on social networks, news, misinformation, and AI. Prediction that Section 230 is dead. [19:47] Losing the "town square" into encrypted group chats and why social media will never be the same. [26:25] Idea that an alternative social network for “actual relationships” should exist. [27:23] Proposal that we go back to where we were before: “don’t trust the network, trust the individual.” [27:36] Idea to build clubs of trust and community among Celebrity Influencers to protect the commons. [28:40] Is there an opportunity for quality journalism? [28:54] Skepticism that news organizations can regain trust due to business model issues.  [30:33] The Rock is the answer. [30:46] Discussion on founders, VCs, and LPs in this era. Who are you ok making money for?  [34:53] Agreement that transparency enables the individual founder or venture capitalist to make their own decisions about who they’re making money for.  [36:31] Note that pushing VCs for transparency has worked for issues like diversity. California signed a law this week. [38:32] Wrap Up --- Send in a voice message:
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