186 episodes

Tech strategy and finance through the stories of companies big and small.

Not Boring Packy McCormick

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 65 Ratings

Tech strategy and finance through the stories of companies big and small.



    The idea is this: the world oscillates between centralization and decentralization, with progress sloping upward through the turns. We’re approaching an era of decentralization. 

    This shift from centralization to decentralization is popping up everywhere I look: 

    Energy: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables
    Manufacturing: Globalization vs. Reshoring
    Manufacturing: Making vs. Growing
    Science: Government Funded vs. Decentralized
    Hard Tech: Government Agencies & Incumbents vs. Startups
    AI: Closed vs. Open
    Talent: Big Tech vs. Startups
    Apps: Big vs. Small
    Media: Substack vs. Journalism
    Education: Factory vs. Personalized
    Finance: Big Banks vs. Fintech

    We go deep on all of that in this episode. 

    But here's the wildest part. That's not my real voice you're listening to. It's my AI voice, created by my friends at play.ht by training a model on a bunch of other audio essays. It's wildly good -- give it a listen.  

    Read the full essay at Not Boring: https://www.notboring.co/p/decentralization


    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/notboring/message

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Anton Teaches Packy AI | Ep 2 | Chinchilla

    Anton Teaches Packy AI | Ep 2 | Chinchilla

    We're back! In Episode 2, Anton Teaches Packy about Deepmind's March 2022 paper, Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models, or as it's more commonly known, Chinchilla.  Prior to Chinchilla, the best way to improve the performance of LLMs was thought to be by scaling up the size of the model. As a result, the largest models now have over 500 billion parameters. But there are only so many GPUs in the world, and throwing compute at the problem is expensive and energy intensive. In this paper, Deepmind found that the optimal way to scale an LLM is actually by scaling size (parameters) and training (data) proportionally.  Given the race for size, today's models are plenty big but need a lot more data.   

    In this conversation, we go deep on the paper itself, but we also zoom out to talk about the politics of AI, when AGI is going to hit, where to get more data, and why AI won't take our jobs. This one gets a lot more philosophical than our first episode as we explore the implications of Chinchilla and LLMs more generally.  If you enjoyed this conversation, subscribe for more. We're going to try to release one episode per week, and we want to make this the best way to get a deeper understanding of the mind-blowing progress happening in AI and what it means for everything we do as humans.  

    LINKS: Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models: https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.15556 

    chinchilla's wild implications: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6Fpvc... 

    Scaling Laws for Neural Language Models (Kaplan et al): https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.08361


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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Anton Teaches Packy AI | E1

    Anton Teaches Packy AI | E1

    Anton Teaches Packy AI is Not Boring's attempt at making AI more accessible to our audience. It's become increasingly obvious that we're in the Golden Age of AI, so we think it's important to demystify what's going on and how it all actually works.  

    Anton Troynikov is the founder of Chroma, former Meta Reality Labs Research Engineer and Roboticist.  

    Packy McCormick is the author of the popular tech and buinsess strategy newsletter, Not Boring.  

    Anton Teaches Packy AI is exactly what it sounds like -- each video, Anton breaks down AI to a level that Packy (your average above average smart person) can understand.   In Episode 1, Anton and Packy discuss the groundbreaking "Attention is All You Need" research paper which kicked off the entire Transformer generative AI wave.   


    - Attention is All You Need: https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.03762

    - The Bitter Lesson: http://www.incompleteideas.net/IncIdeas/BitterLesson.html

    - Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models: https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.15556

    - Explain Paper: https://www.explainpaper.com/


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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Not Boring Founders: Joe Connor, Odyssey

    Not Boring Founders: Joe Connor, Odyssey

    Odyssey (formerly Agora) fully believes in the power of technology to provide families with opportunity to choose the educational environment and services that help them best meet their unique learning needs.  In order to help parents do that, we have partnered with the best K-12 providers and vendors in order to create a robust marketplace for our families.

    Joe Connor is the founder and CEO of Odyssey, and brings with him years of experience in education & law. Packy and Joe have been friends for 23 years, so it was especially special to have Joe come on the podcast to talk about his work at Odyssey.

    This episode was sponsored by Hyper. Hyper is a different kind of startup accelerator back by a16z and Sequoia Capital. Hyper supports participating startups with access to deep networks, media presence, and now hands-on support from unicorn founders.  You can learn more about Hyper and apply here. Tell them Not Boring sent you!


    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/notboring/message

    • 55 min
    Capital & Taste

    Capital & Taste

    Capital & Taste audio essay.

    Capital is banking built for founders. If that sounds like you, sign up for a Capital account today, whether you’re just raising your first million or doing millions in ARR.

    Capital expands Party Round’s offering from fundraising to a full suite of financial services focused on startups. Today, that’s banking – so you can hold, spend, and send the money you’ve raised with their flagship fundraising tool (fka Party Round). In the future, it might be treasury management, payroll, credit, software, and services. Capital is a big name for a small company. It hints at big ambitions.

    There’s a very long way between here and there, and myriad well-funded competitors lurking on the path, but if Capital lives up to its name, it will be because of its taste.


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    • 36 min
    Formic: Automating Abundance

    Formic: Automating Abundance

    Formic delivers Robots by the Hour to manufacturers. It’s making small and medium American businesses stronger, fighting inflation, and creating abundance

    Link to full essay here.


    The goal is abundance.

    We want more and better things, more cheaply. We want those things to be made closer to home. We want less fragile supply chains, so that those things are always available when we need them. We want more good jobs, and more time unlocked to maximize our human potential.

    Over the long-term, there are a lot of things we can do to create abundance. Generate clean, cheap, renewable electricity. Improve the education system. Build more houses. Change laws.

    In the immediate term, the answer is robots.

    Formic is creating the largest workforce of robots in the country -- and delivering Robots by the Hour to its customers, so that they can increase productivity and generate abundance.


    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/notboring/message

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

Fishbox75 ,

Amazing content

Packy please keep going - the last 2 on AI are amazing.

thaihipster ,

Great show but please get better microphones

Top tier podcast with great insights and guests but audio quality is often bad making it hard to listen to. Would be a top 5 podcast if audio was better.

brianamartin221 ,

An Elite Podcast A

Packy is one of the best podcast hosts of any topic I’ve ever listened to. This is a must-follow show for anyone that wants to keep up with where tech and business merge.

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