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Matt Clifford, co-founder of Entrepreneur First, interviews the people behind some of the world's most important ideas. We explore in-depth some of the fastest-changing and most impactful areas of life, from technology to geopolitics and scientific progress to entrepreneurship. Guests include founders, investors, academics and journalists working and thinking at the frontier of these topics. Subscribe to the free newsletter at http://tib.matthewclifford.com/
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Rohit Krishnan is an investor and writer; he is the author of Strange Loop Canon (he was previously on the podcast here). Visa Veerasamy is the author of Introspect and Friendly Ambitious Nerd, among other things. In this conversation we talk about whether entrepreneurs are born or made; the role of culture in ambition; how we can make people more …
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Building your network matters not just for career success but because the friendships you form along the way shape your overall sense of happiness, connection, and meaning. But how many of us actually slow down to assess our friendships and reflect on how to deepen them? On this bonus episode to conclude Season One of the Startup of You Podcast, Re…
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Remote work, the creator economy, and peer-to-peer gig services have given rise to the modern “portfolio career.” This approach is exciting: by diversifying your income stream, the types of work that you do, and the people you work with, you can forge a unique and versatile career path. But you must be very strategic. On this episode of the Startup…
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Status – it’s a fact of working life that’s uncomfortable to talk about yet can have a tangible impact on your career. Hierarchies of power, prestige, and rank exist in every professional context we enter, and learning to navigate these dynamics is crucial. But what are the common status hazards, and how can you gracefully step around them? On this…
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There’s a common misconception that world-class careers are the result of slow and steady progress – a gradual climb of many small successes accruing over time. In fact, remarkable careers often benefit from “breakout opportunities,” singular moments that radically transform your professional trajectory. But how do you recognize them, and how do yo…
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How do your friends and colleagues describe you? What would *they* say your top strengths and weaknesses are? The answers to these and other questions define your professional reputation—your own individual brand. But you shouldn’t leave things up to chance. You should be authentic and thoughtful about shaping how you are perceived. On this episode…
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If you aren't pained by the risk involved in a potential career move, it's probably not a breakout opportunity. In fact, one of the riskiest things you can do in your career is try to eliminate risk altogether. Risk is omnipresent. You need to know how to evaluate it, and to build resilience against risks you can't anticipate. On this episode of th…
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Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha are the co-authors of The Startup of You, which explores how to adapt, take risks, grow your network and transform your career. Reid was co-founder of LinkedIn and a partner at Greylock. He sits on the boards of a number of organisations including Microsoft, OpenAI and, of course, my company Entrepreneur First. Ben is …
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How do you make better life decisions? By becoming world class at tapping the brains of the people in your network. Your network is a source of constant, customized information that helps you make wise decisions, both large and small. On this episode of the Startup of You Podcast, Reid and Ben get into the skills and techniques needed to harness th…
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In Reid’s first startup, he was told “No” by almost every VC he pitched. How do you get beyond that? How do you become relentlessly resourceful in your career? How can you master the art of the hustle without being perceived as a “hustler”? On this episode of the Startup of You Podcast, Reid and Ben share lessons from Airbnb, Chris Sacca, and other…
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Exceptional careers happen when someone conceives a brilliant plan and executes it flawlessly, right? Wrong. Every career is an ongoing process of experimentation. You learn by doing and recalibrate as you gain new experiences and knowledge. But this doesn’t mean you don’t need a plan – you need plans, plural, that you continually update. On this e…
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An all too common piece of career advice is to “follow your passion.” But when it comes to crafting a great career, that’s not the whole picture. You must also take into account the skills that will differentiate you, and where they fit into the marketplace. On this episode of the Startup of You Podcast, Reid and Ben explain the “three gears” that …
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Many professionals are turned off by the idea of “networking.” They think it’s about slimey glad-handing and using others to get ahead. But when pursued with an eye toward leveraging your skills and experiences to help other people succeed, building a professional network becomes something else entirely – a chance at authentic human connection that…
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Iason Gabriel is a research scientist at DeepMind and was previously a lecturer in political and moral philosophy at Oxford University. His work focuses on the moral questions raised by artificial intelligence. In this conversation we discuss how and why AI is different from other technologies; the problem of value alignment in AI; what political p…
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Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross are the authors of a new book, Talent: How to identify energisers, creatives and winners around the world. Tyler is an economist, who is perhaps best known for his daily blogging at Marginal Revolution (which I've been reading since 2003!) and as the founder of Emergent Ventures, a grant-making programme focused on ambi…
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Kyla Scanlon is a creator and educator who focuses on explaining finance and economics through her newsletter, YouTube and TikTok videos. She has a unique perspective on how the internet continues to change everything around us. In this conversation we discuss social media and the authentic self; Elon Musk, Twitter and free speech; memes as an inve…
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Stuart Buck is the Executive Director of the Good Science Project, a new initiative to make science funding more effective, innovative, and robust. This mission has been the major theme of Stuart’s career; he was previously Vice President of Research at Arnold Ventures, a large philanthropic foundation. In this conversation, we discuss the twin pro…
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Tanya is an academic and entrepreneur. She leads the Digital State project at Cambridge University's Bennett Institute and is the founder of StateUp, an advisory firm focused on innovation that serves a public purpose. In this conversation, we talk about the idea of "public purpose technology", the companies that are building it and the investors t…
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Nadia Eghbal is an independent researcher and writer. She’s the author of Working in Public, which is an ethnographic study of how Open Source Software is made and maintained. She recently won an Emergent Ventures grant to study and write about technology wealth and philanthropy. In this conversation, we discuss how and why technology entrepreneurs…
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Shashank Joshi is defence editor at the Economist. Long-time listeners may remember our conversation last year on geopolitics and security. Shashank joins me again today for a special edition on the situation in Ukraine. Shashank talks us through how we got here, what Putin wants, and some of the possible endgames. I should emphasise that we record…
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The Startup of You career strategy podcast, co-hosted by LinkedIn's founder Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha, isn’t about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn how to apply the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups to your own life. Because whether you work for a giant multinational corporation, stitch together multiple gigs in…
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Sam Arbesman is a complexity scientist and writer and is currently a scientist-in-residence at Lux Capital, a leading venture capital fund. Sam’s writing covers many topics that will be familiar to Thoughts in Between readers and listeners. In this conversation, we discuss the need for institutional innovation in science, the value of long-term thi…
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Sebastian Mallaby is a journalist and author. His latest book, The Power Law, is an exploration of the history and impact of venture capital that seeks to explain how VCs see the world and why it matters. In this conversation, we discuss why VC is so different from any other asset class, why VC networks should be considered a third core institution…
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Allister Furey is co-founder and CEO of Sylvera, a technology startup building a ratings agency for carbon markets. In this conversation, we discuss why evaluation and verification is so important for building a net-zero economy and the challenges that face innovators and investors in today's market. We talk through how Sylvera creates ratings for …
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Rohit Krishna is a venture capitalist and the writer behind Strange Loop Canon, one of my favourite Substacks (and one that regular readers of the TiB newsletter may recognise). In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about how billionaires can be better at philanthropy, why identifying extreme talent is so challenging, new ways to invest in tal…
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Michelle You is co-founder and CEO of Supercritical, a startup that helps companies achieve Net Zero through carbon removal. Michelle is a serial entrepreneur (she was previously one of the founders of Songkick) and in this conversation, we dive into why she decided to focus on carbon removal for her next company. We also explore why the label Net …
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Christian Hernandez is one of the founding partners of 2150, a venture capital firm dedicated to backing startups that are reinventing how cities are built, run, and maintained - with a particular focus on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. In this conversation, we talk about the role that venture capital and startups have to play in add…
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Tony Kulesa is one of the founders of Petri, a new approach for funding formation stage startups at the intersection of biology and engineering. We spend a lot of this conversation talking about why there is such an explosion of activity in biotech entrepreneurship today and why new models for supporting and financing founders are needed. Regular r…
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Jason Crawford is the founder of Roots of Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing a new philosophy of progress for the 21st century. Jason is a prolific writer on the history of science and technology and is one of the leading figures in the Progress Studies community. In this conversation, we discuss what causes progress; why it's not univ…
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Azeem Azhar is an entrepreneur, investor, and the creator of Exponential View - a newsletter and community dedicated to understanding the future. He's the author of the new book, Exponential, which explores how accelerating technology is changing our world faster than our institutions are designed to react. In this conversation, we discuss some of …
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Ilan is CEO of Activate, a non-profit fellowship that enables entrepreneurial scientists to transform their research into world-changing deep tech products and businesses. There are lots of parallels between my day job at Entrepreneur First and what Ilan is building at Activate, so it was great to explorie what we’ve both learned in this conversati…
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My guests today are Jess Whittlestone and Jack Clark. Jess is a senior research associate at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Existential Risk. Jack is a co-founder of Anthropic, an AI safety and research company, and was previously Policy Director at OpenAI. Together they are co-authors on a new paper on why and how governments should moni…
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I'd like to introduce you to The Entrepreneur First Podcast, my new show with EF co-founder Alice Bentinck. Together, we've been talking to some of the brightest entrepreneurs who have ever set foot in an EF office about what it takes to build a business from the ground up. In this episode I speak to Alex Dalyac, co-founder and CEO of Tractable, EF…
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Ethan Mollick is a professor of entrepreneurship at Wharton, a former founder and author of the book, The Unicorn’s Shadow. Readers of the Thoughts in Between newsletter may also recognise him as the curator of perhaps the world’s most interesting Twitter feed. I think I link to Ethan more than to anyone else. In this conversation, we dive deeply i…
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Gian Volpicelli is a journalist at Wired UK, where he covers the intersection of technology and politics. He’s also the author of the recently published Wired Guide to Cryptocurrency, which you can think of as a beginner’s guide to all things crypto. This conversation is for people who are new to crypto and feared it was too late to learn. We talk …
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Jeffrey Ding is a doctoral candidate and Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he also works as the China Lead for the Centre for the Governance of AI. He’s one of the foremost English language commentators on AI in China and is the writer of the brilliant ChinAI newsletter, which is an invaluable guide to the topic. In this conversatio…
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Gena Gorlin is a professor and practicing psychologist. Both her academic and her clinical work focuses on how individuals can overcome psychological obstacles to achieve goals. She’s become especially interested in working with ambitious innovators, particularly startup founders. Over the last few months, I’ve been lucky to work with Gena on a maj…
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Meia Nouwens is a China expert who works as a senior fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. She’s thought deeply and written extensively on many favorite Thoughts in Between topics, from the geopolitics of semiconductors to the role of AI in the future of war. In this conversation, we discuss China’s Digital Silk Road, the like…
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Angus Mercer, Sophie Dannreuther and Gregory Lewis are three of the people behind, “Future Proof”, a report released last week by the Centre for Long Term Resilience on how the UK and the world can become more resilient to extreme risks in the decades ahead. In the wake of the pandemic, thinking about how we mitigate catastrophic risk seems both ur…
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Ash Fontana is Managing Director of Zetta Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on artificial intelligence startups. He’s also the author of The AI First Company, a new book that draws on Ash’s experience as an entrepreneur and investor and lays out the principles for building a successful business based on data learning effects. In this…
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Shashank Joshi is defence editor at the Economist and an expert in international security, geopolitics, and military affairs. I’ve known Shashank for many years and I think he has the most encyclopedic knowledge of anyone I’ve met. As a result, this is an extremely wide-ranging and, for me, educational conversation, in which we cover topics includi…
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Erik Hoel is a neuroscientist whose work we’ve discussed in Thoughts in Between before. But he’s also an excellent writer of fiction: his first novel, The Revelations, has just been published in the US and is available in the UK from 13 May 2021. It’s a brilliant novel of ideas centered on the search for a theory of consciousness. It’s one of the b…
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Alice Bentinck is co-founder of Entrepreneur First (EF), the world's leading talent investor. I've worked with Alice for nearly a decade and she is one of the deepest thinkers about talent and innovation I know. In this conversation, we talk about lessons from building EF through the lens of some of TiB's favorite themes. We discuss how to identify…
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Samo Burja is founder of Bismarck Analytics and the author of Great Founder Theory, a manuscript that looks at how institutions and civilisations succeed and fail. It’s one of the most interesting things I’ve read this year and in this conversation we dive into its main themes. We discuss where great institutions come from, why there are so few of …
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Steve O’Hear is a writer at Techcrunch and one of Europe’s leading technology journalists. He’s also, as he likes to put it, a “recovering founder”. In this conversation, we discuss consumer internet innovation in lockdown, the relationship between the media and the technology industry, the prospects for the European startup ecosystem, and how to t…
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Sarah Drinkwater is Director of Beneficial Tech at Omidyar Network, where she works on creating levers for a responsible tech industry. She’s one of the most thoughtful and optimistic people I know on the challenges of making technology a force for good in the world. In this conversation talk we cover a lot of ground: responsible technology, the tr…
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Anton Howes is a historian of innovation. He writes a newsletter on the topic, Age of Invention, and is the author of Arts and Minds (Princeton University Press, 2020), a history of the Royal Society of Arts. In this conversation we discuss: Where does innovation come from? The importance of "the improving mindset" in the history of economic growth…
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Rowland is a technology correspondent at Sky News where he covers the way technology impacts politics and public life, most recently in the fight against Covid-19. As well as this, we also talk about why it's so hard for governments to deploy capital well, and the relative merits of technocracy and populism. ---------------- Thanks to Cofruition fo…
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Marc Warner is co-founder and CEO of Faculty.AI, a London-based artificial intelligence company that helps leading organisations implement AI in their businesses. In this conversation, we talk about implementing machine learning in the real world and how to make AI safe and effective. We talk about bias and fairness in AI applications and framework…
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Jade was the first Head of Research & Partnerships with the Centre for the Governance of Artificial Intelligence (GovAI), housed at Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute. In this conversation, we discuss her superb doctoral thesis, "Who Will Govern Artificial Intelligence?" and look at what the history of emerging technologies tells us about the fu…
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