175 episodes

After many years in London, Danny Fortson returns to Silicon Valley to meet the new wave of tech entrepreneurs hoping to disrupt our lives.

Danny In The Valley The Times

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 415 Ratings

After many years in London, Danny Fortson returns to Silicon Valley to meet the new wave of tech entrepreneurs hoping to disrupt our lives.

    Stanford Internet Observatory’s Renee Diresta: “Sharpies, CIA supercomputers and human antennas”

    Stanford Internet Observatory’s Renee Diresta: “Sharpies, CIA supercomputers and human antennas”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Renee DiResta of the Stanford INternet Observatory to talk about how Twitter handled 2020 (3:30), mainstream media getting a pass (40), Facebook groups (9:45), Sharpiegate (8:30), the election day war room (11:45), conspiracy “tickets” (15:00), how conspiracies spread (16:45), Trump’s centrality to the voter fraud posts (21:40), how these theories play out in the real world (26:40), the low cost to spreading misinformation (28:45), how 2020 compares to 2016 (33:30), Covid vaccines as the next target (36:20), whats changed between the first tech hearing and the most recent (39:00), and what Tiktok learned (41:30).
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    • 45 min
    Plenty's Nate Storey: "Kale outta Compton"

    Plenty's Nate Storey: "Kale outta Compton"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Nate Storey, co-founder of indoor farming unicorn Plenty, to talk about tearing down and rebuilding farms (3:40), the problem he’s trying to solve (6:40), breeding food for transport (8:50), building a farm in Compton (10:45), leveraging Hollywood (13:40), how he got into agriculture (17:10), leaving his first startup (22:10), what an indoor farm looks like (24:00), the industry boom (31:10), luring infrastructure investors (33:45), falling costs (37:30), how traditional farmers have responded (40:45), and putting orchards inside (44:00).
     
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    • 49 min
    Ruben Harris: "A backwards version of the Wu-Tang clan”

    Ruben Harris: "A backwards version of the Wu-Tang clan”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Ruben Harris, co-founder of Career Karma, to talk about starting out as a cellist (3:10), why music convinced him to get into business (6:50), buying a one-way ticket (8:55), his first tech job (11:00), working in political technology (17:30), how starting a podcast led to his startup (18:50), quitting his job (20:30), creating Career Karma (22:00), on whether coding boot camps work (23:50), income-sharing agreements (26:15), how work is changing (28:20), being black in Silicon Valley (30:15), his worst day (34:30), and addressing the laptop shortage (36:20).
     
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    • 39 min
    Mmhmm's Phil Libin: "Hospital clowns to investment bankers”

    Mmhmm's Phil Libin: "Hospital clowns to investment bankers”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Phil Libin, founder of Mmhmm, to talk about fasting (3:35), starting the company (5:00), what it does (9:15), the end of the social media ice age (13:20), a trillion dollar shift (17:00), why he’s not worried about rivals copying him (24:30), who uses it (27:00), how he came up with the name (30:45), what goes wrong at startups (34:20), what skydiving taught him (39:35), the new hybrid world (43:30), and why he plans to leave San Francisco (46:30).
     
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    • 52 min
    Avalanche Insights' Michiah Prull: “Measuring oomph”

    Avalanche Insights' Michiah Prull: “Measuring oomph”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Michiah Prull, founder of Avalanche Insights, to talk about setting up a company after the 2016 election (3:00), starting as a community organiser (5:00), the problem with messaging (6:30), using AI to understand emotions (8:35), finding the right people (11:00), how an algorithm intuits human motivations (13:15), crafting a message (15:45), why the left is bad at it (19:45), fighting polarisation (22:30), levelling the misinformation/information playing field (26:00), whether he will go corporate (27:30), what went wrong in 2016 (31:30), the future of elections (33:00), the outlook for November 3 (35:45), and the evolution of the public’s view of climate change (37:35).
     
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    • 41 min
    Parler's John Matze: "Hate speech is free speech"

    Parler's John Matze: "Hate speech is free speech"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on John Matze, founder of Parler, to talk about starting a social network (4:10), its first viral moment (7:05), reacting to the banning of people online (8:10), echo chambers (11:10), Parler’s hyper-partisan power users (13:25), the site’s rules (15:50), why he doesn’t regulate hate speech (19:50), how the app helps people find others (24:10), why he welcomes the rush of Q Anon users (28:50), why he doesn’t think Parler is pushing people apart (33:25), his investors (36:50), trying to build Parler into a business (39:00), why misinformation is fair game (42:15), and how Katie Hopkins’ arrival attracted users (45:20).
     
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
415 Ratings

415 Ratings

Tmw51 ,

Insightful stuff

Always enjoyable podcast. Often slightly irreverent which we need more than ever these days. Not too much SV inside speak and Danny does a great job of setting the scene and keeping things lively. Am slowly working my way through the back catalogue. Give it a go if disruptive tech is your thing.

marky677 ,

Best show.

Learned so much about the stories behind big Tech.

Guests are tremendous

Mirandastav ,

Easy listening, interesting topics

I work in tech in the UK and find this an accessible podcast that gives me insight into wider tech world. Danny is a great interviewer.

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