Instigators of Change is a Khosla Ventures podcast that explores innovative ideas, the people who come up with them, and those who invest in them. Our guests are the outliers, creators, mavericks — those who imagine differently. They build companies that alter transportation, retail, food, energy, entertainment, space. And when they succeed, we cannot imagine life without them. Tune in to hear about non-obvious ideas from inspiring people.
The podcast is hosted by Kara Miller, former host of the nationally-syndicated public radio show "Innovation Hub."
How to Conquer Imposter Syndrome, and Become a Tech CEO
Shellye Archambeau has encountered a lot of obstacles in life, but her ability to navigate around them has proved almost superhuman. Archambeau talks about deciding - as a teenager - that she wanted to be a CEO, and how she navigated the business world to make that happen. How do you deal with a company that’s not paying you enough? That won’t promote you? That becomes complacent? And what happens when your break comes along in the middle of a tech meltdown? Archambeau tells her own story, and offers lots of advice along the way.
Dheeraj Pandey Wants to Change CRM. Can He?
When Dheeraj Pandey co-founded the cloud computing company Nutanix in 2009, the economy was shaky. Housing was turbulent. And interest rates had moved dramatically. Sound familiar? Nutanix would grow into a multibillion dollar company, and now, Pandey is back at the start-up game. He’s trying to change CRM, though it’s a tough time to be challenging entrenched ways of doing things. How will he weather the storm? And what does he consider his secret weapons in business?
Why entrepreneurs ignore an aging America - at their peril
After tennis great Serena Williams announced her retirement from tennis, she tweeted out an article from Joseph Coughlin, head of the MIT AgeLab. Williams said she wasn’t retiring - she was “forever evolving.” And Coughlin believes that Williams’ sentiment is a sign of the times. Average Americans are getting older. They’re living longer. They want to evolve. And, by the way, they hold the vast majority of the nation’s wealth. But many entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate leaders still believe they should market to young people. And that’s despite the fact that Americans have been having fewer kids for decades, meaning that young people are in short supply. Coughlin joins us for a reality check - and a look at an enormous (and growing) opportunity.
Jeff Wilke: From Amazon Exec to Rebuilding American Manufacturing
When Jeff Wilke left Amazon in 2021, where - since 2016 - he had served as CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, his next chapter could have focused on rest and relaxation. After all, Wilke had been at Amazon for more than 20 years, and had seen it grow from a modest-sized bookseller to a worldwide behemoth. But Wilke believes the American economy - and national security - is dependent on luring manufacturing back to our shores. He explains why manufacturing is his new passion and why his new company has acquired so many small firms recently. Plus, how is he advising start-up founders now? And how does he see the consumer changing?
What Evidence Shows About Who Really Succeeds in Business
You might call Ethan Mollick a man obsessed. And he probably wouldn’t mind. Because Mollick - a high-profile professor at The Wharton School - is obsessed with data, which dispels a lot of the myths around startups. Like: Do twenty somethings have the most successful startups? Nope, it’s forty-somethings. Are teams more successful than solo founders? Don’t bet on it. Is brainstorming a great way to start a meeting? Not a chance. Join us for a discussion about what works in business, and what doesn’t (and be prepared to be surprised).
Siddhartha Mukherjee and Anand Parikh On A New Way To Fight Cancer
More than 50 years ago, President Nixon announced a moonshot to cure cancer. But the cure never came. More than half a million Americans still die from cancer every single year. Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and cancer physician Siddhartha Mukherjee says that, in some ways, the scientific community has failed - and it must embrace new approaches. One of the most promising of those approaches, he believes, is to starve cancer of the nutrients it needs. We speak with Mukherjee, a co-founder of Faeth Therapeutics, along with its CEO, Anand Parikh, about how to turn food into medicine, the results they’ve seen so far, and how quickly the FDA may act.
Really informative and refreshing interviews.
A refreshing and distinctive take on founders (and their investors) and how they continue to redefine and change our world. Host Kara Miller is an absolute natural, stretching the minds of listeners through thought-provoking and entertaining conversations with profound leaders and influencers. A weekly "must listen."
I’ve loved the variety of guests so far and the host is very engaging! Can’t wait for another episode.