171 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 • 407 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.

    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
    Standard Cognition's Jordan Fisher: "Cashierless stores are coming"

    Standard Cognition's Jordan Fisher: "Cashierless stores are coming"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Jordan Fisher, founder of Standard Cognition, to talk about creating a video game (5:00), being rejected from venture capitalists (7:20), helping the financial regulator catch fraudsters (9:30), jumping into cashierless checkouts 12:10), the future of retail (16:30), launching in three stores (21:00), not using check-in gates (23:30), the very analogue backend of cashierless checkout (28:00), raising $86m - thanks to Amazon (32:15), what this means for retail (36:30), the effect of “Bodega-gate” (39:10), getting people used to not paying for stuff (41:10), the facial recognition issue (43:00), selling the system as a DIY kit (46:20), and the moments he thought it wouldn’t work (48:30).
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    • 51 min
    Higher Ground Labs' Shomik Dutta: "Nothing clarifies the mind like losing”

    Higher Ground Labs' Shomik Dutta: "Nothing clarifies the mind like losing”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Shomik Dutta, founder of Higher Ground Labs, to talk about funding democracy tech (3:30), what happened after 2016 (5:30), losing the technology edge every four years (9:10), transforming the Democrats’ technology stack (11:15), creating a master voter database (15:15), Reid Hoffmann’s role (18:30), how to avoid funding the next Cambridge Analytica (22:00), making political investments that are good business (27:15), why social media is the battleground (29:45), his lack of confidence in Facebook (32:20), greasing the wheels of mail-in voting (35:50), the importance of cyber security (37:00), and the run-up to November 3 (38:15).
     
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    • 40 min
    NYU's Paul Romer: "An evil decision"

    NYU's Paul Romer: "An evil decision"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paul Romer, the Nobel prize-winning economist, to talk about the choice between killing people and killing the economy (3:00), the policy failures of the Covid response (7:30), what happens when we reopen (11:35), the state of the economy (16:15), why going back to “normal” is doomed to fail (22:00), why undermining institutions is a problem (26:10), why now is not a good time for entrepreneurs (30:35), undermining the foundations of the economy (32:45), an alternative tech tax (36:45), and where the action is (38:00).
     
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    • 42 min
    DoNotPay’s Josh Browder: “A bot to build bots”

    DoNotPay’s Josh Browder: “A bot to build bots”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Josh Browder to talk about building a robot lawyer DoNotPay (3:40), raising money (7:10), overturning parking tickets (10:10), targeting problems that affect at least 50 million people (12:05) his bot builder (13:00), his Silicon Valley evolution (14:55), becoming an investor himself (16:40), becoming a Thiel fellow (18:00), staying in the Bay Area (20:50), the free trial scam (23:10), the porn industry’s dirty tricks (24:50), getting more cynical (27:15), the importance of having a business model (30:00), and suing robo-callers (31:10).
     
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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
407 Ratings

407 Ratings

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.

Gtak440 ,

Black Lives Matter

I am a white Middle Class - Middle aged - Male - The Pod has always been great - Very Glad that today's POD was on what matters most at the moment - Black Lives Matter - For me All LIves Matter - Thank you Danny for sharing

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