28 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.

theriffpodcast.substack.com

"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.

theriffpodcast.substack.com

    E28: Amazon’s Potential for an Airline, Hidden Economic Gains, and the Nature of Equities

    E28: 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 how to apply Costco's business model in other industries, the risky business of Martingale strategies, usage as a potential barrier to AI model development, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "UPSTREAM" for 20% off your first three months.
    ---
    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


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 58 min
    E27: Costco's Business Model, Martingale Strategies, and Usage-Based Lock-in for AI

    E27: Costco's Business Model, Martingale Strategies, and Usage-Based Lock-in for AI

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about how to apply Costco's business model in other industries, the risky business of Martingale strategies, usage as a potential barrier to AI model development, and more. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    ---
    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: Harmonic | beehiiv
    Harmonic: Learn why Craft, Bedrock, NEA and 100s more trust Harmonic’s data to source deals. Harmonic is the most complete startup database, finding new companies as soon as they incorporate and tracking them through IPO. Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    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
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: https://thediff.co
    ---
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:21) Unpacking the Hunter Book Model: A New Approach to Monetizing News
    (07:30) Aligning Media and Investing: Conflicts and Confluences of Interest
    (12:41) Sponsor: Harmonic | Beehiiv
    (15:09) The Benefits of Public Markets and Short Selling Insights
    (18:09) Martingale Beliefs and Betting Strategies in Finance
    (23:31) The Martingale Thesis and Market Making
    (27:17) Unlocking the Potential of AI with Usage-Based Lock-In
    (31:45) Exploring the Costco Business Model and Its Applications
    (37:46) The Case for GDP-Linked Bonds: A Financial Innovation
    (40:06) Vertical Software Companies Acquiring Operating Companies
    (44:37) The Intersection of Media and Tech Companies
    (46:40) Wrap
    ---
    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


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 47 min
    E26: Stripe's Unbundling Strategy, What AI Means for Education, and 24-Hour Markets

    E26: Stripe's Unbundling Strategy, What AI Means for Education, and 24-Hour Markets

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss AI & education, Stripe's shift towards unbundling, and the possibility of 24 hour markets. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    ---
    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: Harmonic | beehiiv
    Harmonic: Learn why Craft, Bedrock, NEA and 100s more trust Harmonic’s data to source deals. Harmonic is the most complete startup database, finding new companies as soon as they incorporate and tracking them through IPO. Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    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
    ---
    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


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 1 hr
    E25: Lambda School Drama, Meta's Path to AI, and Why Hardware Constraints Protect Your Privacy

    E25: Lambda School Drama, Meta's Path to AI, and Why Hardware Constraints Protect Your Privacy

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss income sharing agreements, the privacy/security/usability efficient frontier, and how Meta ended up with all their GPUs. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    ---
    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: Harmonic | BeeHiiv
    Harmonic: Learn why Craft, Bedrock, NEA and 100s more trust Harmonic’s data to source deals. Harmonic is the most complete startup database, finding new companies as soon as they incorporate and tracking them through IPO. Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    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(00:26) Exploring Income Share Agreements and Lambda School(08:01) The Controversy and Potential of Lambda School(18:46) Sponsor: Harmonic | Beehiiv(21:17) The Bear Case on Income Share Agreements(24:31) Barriers and Threats of Selling New Financial Products(29:51) Innovative Financial Models and Crypto's Role(30:50) Exploring Personal Prediction Markets and Startups(32:51) The Impact of AI on Content Creation and Social Interactions(35:54) Navigating the Continuum of Human and AI Interaction(38:59) Meta's Strategic Shift Towards Generative AI(48:02) The Evolution of Privacy, Security, and Usability in Tech(52:21) Debunking Myths Around Index Funds(1:01:58) Adapting Investment Strategies in an Efficient Market(1:03:40) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing:
    https://thediff.co
    Erik’s post on income sharing agreements: https://eriktorenberg.substack.com/p/life-capital
    ---
    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


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 1 hr 4 min
    E24: Why Acquisitions Fail, How to Write a Great Memo, and The Fate of ChatGPT Wrappers

    E24: Why Acquisitions Fail, How to Write a Great Memo, and The Fate of ChatGPT Wrappers

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss the acquisition landscape, how to write great business memos, and why it's hard to monetize a successful ChatGPT wrapper. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    ---
    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.
    ---
    SPONSOR: Harmonic Learn why Craft, Bedrock, NEA and 100s more trust Harmonic’s data to source deals. Harmonic is the most complete startup database, finding new companies as soon as they incorporate and tracking them through IPO. Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo.
    ---
    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) Negative reputation of acquisitive companies
    (11:50) Sponsors: Harmonic | Turpentine
    (13:39) Importance of research and its competitive edge
    (21:37) Exploring the dynamics of unions and corporate strategies
    (26:11) How to write a great memo
    (32:49) Challenge of monetizing AI services
    (37:49) AI's impact on education and standardized testing
    (43:44) Evolution and future of Ghost Kitchens
    (52:19) Lessons from '50 Years in Wall Street'
    (56:53) Insights from Managing a Sovereign Wealth Fund
    (1:00:00) Wrap
    ---
    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



    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 1 hr 1 min
    E23: Hard Tech Pivots, Potato Investing, and When to Enforce the Law

    E23: Hard Tech Pivots, Potato Investing, and When to Enforce the Law

    On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss pivots in hard tech, cybersecurity and privacy, and the considerations in how often to enforce the law.
    For listeners watching the video, please note that Erik’s video recording dropped out towards the end of the episode. We hope you enjoy the conversation nonetheless.
    ---
    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.
    ---
    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
    (00:29) Hard tech pivots
    (04:55) Software changes the shape of innovation
    (08:19) Open source and closed source security models
    (16:14) AI regulation predictions
    (18:34) Google's AI monetization
    (24:24) Why did tech hedge funds invest in a potato company?
    (28:07) Good customer service is a negative signal for a country’s economic status
    (34:48) The data business at three resolutions
    (41:31) Crime prevention and surveillance
    (44:57) Should we fully enforce the law?
    (53:49) Wrap
    ---
    LINKS:
    Byrne’s writing: thediff.co
    ---
    X / TWITTER:
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @byrnehobart (Byrne)
    @turpentinemedia (Turpentine)
    ---
    For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact Sam@turpentine.co


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit theriffpodcast.substack.com

    • 54 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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