33 episodes

Investor and writer of the popular newsletter The Diff, Byrne Hobart, and co-host Erik Torenberg discuss today’s major inflection points in technology, business, and markets – and help listeners build a diversified portfolio of trends and ideas for the future.  
Topics covered: Finance, Venture Capital, Tech, AI, Crypto, and Industry Cycles
The Riff is a part of the Turpentine podcast network. 

"The Riff" with Byrne Hobart and Erik Torenberg Turpentine

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 15 Ratings

Investor and writer of the popular newsletter The Diff, Byrne Hobart, and co-host Erik Torenberg discuss today’s major inflection points in technology, business, and markets – and help listeners build a diversified portfolio of trends and ideas for the future.  
Topics covered: Finance, Venture Capital, Tech, AI, Crypto, and Industry Cycles
The Riff is a part of the Turpentine podcast network. 

    AI Therapy, 4chan, and Why Conferences Are Like Cities

    AI Therapy, 4chan, and Why Conferences Are Like Cities

    This week, writer Byrne Hobart and investor Erik Torenberg discuss the economics of conferences and cities, rise of meme stocks, future of coding in the age of AI and more. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS:
    BABBEL: 🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at https://babbel.com/torenberg
    BEEHIIV: Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    ---
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:20) Economics of conferences vs Economics of cities
    (04:09) Historical and modern city dynamics
    (06:02) Controversies and discussions at conferences
    (10:00) Rise of meme stocks and retail investors
    (17:38) Sponsor: Babbel | Beehiiv
    (20:10) High volatility in stocks
    (23:10) Cultural influence of 4chan and Reddit
    (28:33) Value capture in startups and capital structure
    (31:30) Exploring self-funding and investment strategies
    (37:14) Concept of cross-investing in people
    (45:05) Value of learning to code
    (50:15) Future of therapy in an AI-driven world
    (57:56) Impact of AI on engineering jobs
    (01:00:28) Comparing software and media
    (01:03:50) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Populism, Elites, and Preparing for AGI

    Populism, Elites, and Preparing for AGI

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss populist cycles, why billionaires buy media companies, how to invest if you think AGI is coming soon, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS:
    BABBEL: 🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at babbel.com/zen
    BEEHIIV: Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    ---
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:21) Populists vs technocrats
    (07:37) Role of media and influence
    (14:02) View on counter elites
    (15:41) Sponsor: Babbel | Beehiiv
    (18:51) Israel on PR war
    (22:59) On Big Tech Has No Power At All by Curtis Yarvin
    (26:42) Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover
    (30:14) Comparing media ownership: Bezos vs. Musk
    (38:42) Leopold Aschenbrenner’s situational awareness paper
    (44:26) Investing strategies in the age of AGI
    (46:38) Role of Venture Capital
    (50:05) High frequency trading explained
    (53:42) Prediction markets and information transmission
    (54:26) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 56 min
    Google API Documentation Leak, Apple's Plans for Siri, and Analyzing Texas Instruments

    Google API Documentation Leak, Apple's Plans for Siri, and Analyzing Texas Instruments

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss Elon Musk's and Yann Lecun's Tweets, what we can learn from Google's API decumentation leaks, how Apple is planning on improving Siri, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS:
    BABBEL: 🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at https://babbel.com/MOZ.
    BEEHIIV: Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    ---
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:21) Elon Musk's and Yann Lecun's Twitter exchange
    (02:26) Institutional decay
    (07:54) Activist campaign against Texas Instruments
    (16:36) Sponsors: Babbel | beehiiv
    (19:10) Poorly executed fraud from Getty investor
    (27:41) What we can learn from the Google API documentation leak
    (35:07) Apple's planned improvements for Siri
    (40:12) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 46 min
    xAI Fundraising, Vivek's BuzzFeed Investment, and Ad-Based AI Monetization

    xAI Fundraising, Vivek's BuzzFeed Investment, and Ad-Based AI Monetization

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about xAI's fundraising round, Vivek Ramaswamy's investment in BuzzFeed, and the dynamics of using ads to monetize AI. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS: beehiiv
    Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    ---
    Timestamps:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:21) xAI fundraising
    (12:11) Vivek Ramaswamy's majority stake in BuzzFeed & dynamics of media acquisitions
    (16:15) Sponsor: beehiiv
    (30:03) Changes in private equity
    (35:44) Does AI hurt wordcels or shape rotators?
    (39:21) Looking at new FTX documents
    (44:58) Will AI be monetized mostly through ads?
    (53:04) Against trusting dystopian science fiction stories
    (57:11) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Meme Stocks, Reserve Currencies, and the Case Against Home Ownership

    Meme Stocks, Reserve Currencies, and the Case Against Home Ownership

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about meme stocks, the nature of reserve currencies, and why you should consider not owning a home in America. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS: beehiiv
    Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    Timestamps:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:27) The case against home ownership
    (06:07) The U.S. Dollar as a reserve currency
    (17:49) Sponsor: beehiiv
    (18:59) Colluding in the oil industry
    (24:57) Meme stocks
    (27:40) Why it's hard to copy Renaissance Technologies
    (36:40) The shutdown of Weiss Multi-Strategy
    (40:16) Alternative financial histories
    (45:46) How NewBank attracts talent
    (49:46) App store dynamics
    (52:17) Optimal financial education
    (56:59) Investing in people
    (01:01:28) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Amazon’s Potential for an Airline, Hidden Economic Gains, and the Nature of Equities

    Amazon’s Potential for an Airline, Hidden Economic Gains, and the Nature of Equities

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about Amazon’s potential to buy a passenger airline, hidden economic gains, equities, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj
    ---
    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.
    ---
    SPONSORS: beehiiv
    beehiiv: Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months
    ---
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Autopilot explores the adoption and rollout of AI in the industries that drive the economy and the dynamic founders bringing rapid change to slow-moving industries. From law, to hardware, to aviation, Will Summerlin interviews founders backed by Benchmark, Greylock, and more to learn how they're automating at the frontiers in entrenched industries.
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YQZkKHN7EP2yWedAvSxBC?si=18377c69a2804333
    Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/autopilot-with-will-summerlin/id1738163836
    ---
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:20) Amazon's Unique Business Model and Expansion Strategy
    (03:11) The Intricacies of the Airline Business Model
    (05:58) Amazon's Long-Term Strategy and Customer Focus
    (10:01) Potential for Amazon to Disrupt the Airline Industry
    (17:27) Sponsor: Beehiiv
    (18:33) Blackstone's Real Estate Ventures and Market Dynamics
    (28:26) Understanding Financial Planning and Investment Strategies
    (29:01) Exploring the Nuances of Preferred vs. Common Stock
    (31:03) The Impact of Unions on Company Profits and Shareholder Value
    (35:38) The Role and Evolution of Unions in Balancing Labor and Capital
    (41:50) Analyzing the New York Times' Adaptation to Digital Media Trends
    (51:21) The Invisible Efficiencies of Technological Advancements
    (57:12) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/eriktorenberg (Erik)
    https://twitter.com/ByrneHobart (Byrne)
    https://twitter.com/TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Josiah78 ,

Great insights

Mr. Hobart is knowledgeable on an amazingly wide range of topics.

CReady33 ,

Great substance but audio quality is bad

I love the substance of this show. Byrne and Erik are so smart and interesting, and the topics they explore are unique. But I so wish they would improve the audio quality. It’s especially bad on Byrne’s end. When he talks fast, which is a lot, he tends to mumble and the volume on his voice goes lower. It’s hard to hear and understand what he’s saying unless you’re on complete noise cancellation.

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