24 episodes

An exploration into new digital products and experiences — and conversations with the people making them great. What separates a good digital product or experience from being the next great thing in our lives? It’s not just one thing, it’s lots of things — ideas, people, inspiration, distribution, longevity, luck. Host Andrew Greenstein talks with founders, CEOs, product heads, makers, producers, designers, and digital creationists about how they’re coming up with big ideas, pushing creative boundaries, and expanding what’s possible in the digital space. The Next Great Thing podcast is a production of SF AppWorks. Learn more at www.sfappworks.com.

The Next Great Thing Andrew Greenstein

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

An exploration into new digital products and experiences — and conversations with the people making them great. What separates a good digital product or experience from being the next great thing in our lives? It’s not just one thing, it’s lots of things — ideas, people, inspiration, distribution, longevity, luck. Host Andrew Greenstein talks with founders, CEOs, product heads, makers, producers, designers, and digital creationists about how they’re coming up with big ideas, pushing creative boundaries, and expanding what’s possible in the digital space. The Next Great Thing podcast is a production of SF AppWorks. Learn more at www.sfappworks.com.

    Shravan Goli, Chief Product Officer, Coursera - Online learning is the future of work

    Shravan Goli, Chief Product Officer, Coursera - Online learning is the future of work

    Nearly 100 million new digital jobs are projected to emerge in the next five years, while another 85 million will be displaced. But with a global shortage of tech talent, there simply aren’t enough highly skilled workers available in areas like data science, programming, cybersecurity, and engineering. Businesses are therefore looking internally to upskill and reskill their employees. At the same time, workers in industries outside of tech are eager to learn new skills, get certified, and earn new degrees to level up their careers -- all at their own pace to fit their busy lives. And, they’re learning it all online. Shravan Goli is at the forefront of this educational transformation. He’s the Chief Product Officer and Head of Consumer Revenue at Coursera, one of the world’s largest online learning platforms. Shravan joins the podcast to talk about the shifting dynamics in the global workforce, and why online learning creates a more equitable and sustainable future of work. He also explains how his product team is building hands-on digital learning products and experiences designed to fit the needs of today’s learners -- and empower them with the confidence, skills, and certifications they need to land the careers of tomorrow.

    • 24 min
    Zak Lefevre, CEO, ChargeLab - Charging past the EV tipping point

    Zak Lefevre, CEO, ChargeLab - Charging past the EV tipping point

    It’s official. Electric vehicles are out of the R&D and early adopter phase and racing towards mainstream adoption. In 2022, EVs account for about 8% of all vehicles sold in America, but in the next 10 to 15 years that figure could approach 100%. But there are plenty of roadblocks ahead – most notably, our EV charging infrastructure. Charging today is a fragmented and frustrating experience, full of disparate hardware, unreliable networks, inconvenient locations, and wonky mobile apps. Zak Lefevre, Co-Founder and CEO of ChargeLab, is creating a smarter, more seamless way to charge our EVs. His team is building an intelligent, open-source software layer that sits on top of any EV charger, giving customers the flexibility to use whatever hardware they want with a simple, consistent, and elegant user experience. Zak joins the podcast to discuss the current EV charging landscape and the major challenges that lie ahead in creating an expansive and reliable EV charging infrastructure. He explains how ChargeLab’s technology aims to be “the Android of EV charging systems” that will provide a critical software infrastructure for the future of refueling. He also shares stories from his experience as a founder navigating the VC-backed tech landscape and argues why it’s never too early to think about product distribution.

    • 31 min
    Kyle Rand, Co-Founder & CEO, Rendever - Virtual reality (and smiles) for seniors

    Kyle Rand, Co-Founder & CEO, Rendever - Virtual reality (and smiles) for seniors

    Social isolation has a profound negative effect on our mental and physical health. Many of us experienced the effects of this first-hand during the height of the pandemic. But for millions of senior citizens, there is no escape from social isolation as they get older. The impact is devastating, often resulting in increased rates of depression and anxiety and an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia. Kyle Rand has made it his life’s work to help seniors feel less alone and make aging a lot easier for all of us. He’s Co-Founder and CEO of Rendever, a virtual reality platform that’s designed specifically for seniors. In senior living communities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, older adults are using Rendever’s VR platform to travel the world, revisit their past, get fit, swim with dolphins, see the Aurora Borealis, and even climb Mount Everest. Kyle joins the podcast to talk about why VR is such a powerful and promising technology to combat social isolation in older adults, helping to create connection, community, and joy through positive shared experiences. He also shares what it’s like to be a “longevity entrepreneur” in the AgeTech space – and the massive opportunities that exist to create social and economic impact for our growing aging population.

    • 30 min
    Nima Ghamsari, Co-Founder and Head of Blend - Going “all in” on the future of proactive finance

    Nima Ghamsari, Co-Founder and Head of Blend - Going “all in” on the future of proactive finance

    As a former professional poker player, Nima Ghamsari learned that poker is a game of psychology and understanding how people make decisions. That you have to focus on outputs and make the right small bets over time. That there are times when you go all in, even if you’re unsure of the outcome. Today, as the Co-Founder and Head of Blend, Nima is applying the lessons he learned at the poker table (and studying computer science at Stanford) to transform the financial services industry and fundamentally change the way people interact with their money. Used by more than 350 big banks like Wells Fargo and US Bank, credit unions, fintechs, and community banks, Blend’s cloud banking infrastructure software powers billions of dollars in financial transactions every day, including mortgages, vehicle loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, and home equity. The software aims to simplify, streamline, and take the friction (and mountains of paperwork) out of the consumer banking journey, from application to close. Nima joins the podcast to share his vision of “proactive finance” — a future where banks can proactively offer personalized financial products the moment consumers need them — and Blend’s goal to increase financial freedom, broaden financial equity, and create more value in the world.

    • 27 min
    Michelle Zhou, Co-founder & CEO, Juji - Chatbots get more human

    Michelle Zhou, Co-founder & CEO, Juji - Chatbots get more human

    We all know what it’s like talking to a chatbot. Or, dealing with an automated customer service phone assistant (and ending up yelling, “Representative!” in frustration just to speak to a human being!). Either way, the robot on the other end doesn’t really understand and treat us like a human. But what if it did? What if it had human “soft skills,” like empathy and humor? What if it actively listened and could read between the lines of your semantic subtleties? And, what if, like humans, it learned and got better at listening to and understanding you? That is exactly what Michelle Zhou has created. A computer scientist by training and an expert in human-centered AI, Michelle is the co-founder and CEO of Juji, a company that’s aiming to be “The Apple of AI” by building the world’s only no-code AI cognitive chatbot assistants. She previously spent 15 years working at IBM Research and is the inventor of IBM Watson Personality Insights. Michelle joins the podcast to talk about how she’s creating no-code AI chatbots that feel and act more human – and her mission to democratize AI so that it’s easy and affordable enough for any organization (or any person) to use.

    • 22 min
    Donna Boyer, Chief Product Officer, Teladoc Health - The virtual doctor will see you now

    Donna Boyer, Chief Product Officer, Teladoc Health - The virtual doctor will see you now

    Millions of Americans struggle to afford and access health care. Some delay seeking care because they lack transportation or child care. Others are simply too nervous to visit a doctor’s office. All these issues hinder people’s ability or willingness to see a doctor, which, in turn, directly impacts their health. But the rise of telehealth is starting to change all that ​​– especially since the start of the pandemic, when virtual everything became the norm. Donna Boyer has experienced this change up close, both as a mother who sought virtual mental health care for her son and as a product innovation leader. Currently the Chief Product Officer at Teladoc Health, Donna is a seasoned tech executive who previously led product teams at Yahoo, Airbnb, and Stitch Fix. She joins the podcast to talk about how telehealth is fundamentally changing the relationship we have with health care and how technology is breaking down barriers of affordability, access, and convenience. Donna also shares how Teladoc Health is personalizing the virtual care experience with products designed to meet us where we are and seamlessly integrate into our lives.

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

erickxh ,

Great guests. Pretty good host.

Great guest and product discussions. The host brought energy and good questions. Overall, worth a listen.

Thatgirl* ,

Totally love this Podcast!

Interesting and super insightful! There is always something new about technology coming down the road! I would highly recommend!

Fog horn at night ,

Insightful conversations about new tech

Excellent and knowledgeable guests who are doing good in the world with technology. I learn something new about how tech is solving big challenges in society.