736: David joins the broadcast to talk about his latest book How to Invest: Masters on the Craft and the common traits he found among the investors he profiled in the book. He shares anecdotes of his early investment misses, how they led to his future successes, and the reason he always chooses good work ethic over high IQ when hiring prospective employees. David contends that investors often think against the grain and explains why this acceptance of higher risk is critical to the success of these titans of finance. He also sees younger people as being key indicators of successful investments as they drive the technology of future generations. Finally, David reflects on his “patriotic philanthropy” and looks ahead at trends in politics, economics, and the future of cryptocurrency.

Also available on YouTube:

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This episode is sponsored by Adyen.

723: Steve discusses his latest book, Rise of the Rest and his mission of growing venture capital outside of the three big epicenters of CA, MA, and NY. He explains the thesis of the book, why 75% of VC focuses on these metropolitan areas, and what inspired him to explore this phenomenon. Steve also gives his perspective on how communities can stimulate venture capital expansion into new areas, how the Rise of the Rest Bus Tours help spur greater visibility on entrepreneurship in these areas, and the venture capital firms he partners with to realize this. He then shares specific anecdotes from his book and the stories from cities that stood out to him during his tours. Across these stories, Steve breaks down the ingredients of a successful venture that he has seen, how the pandemic has changed this, and the role government plays in growing venture capital in their cities. Finally, he talks about growing opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs, economic headwinds that entrepreneurs are beginning to face, and how the tech community has grown in the D.C. Metro area.

Also available on YouTube:

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This episode is sponsored by Adyen.

Scott Galloway wants to be the most influential thought leader in the history of business. When asked why, he offered his usual self-criticism: mostly narcissism, a desire to be relevant, fear of death, a drive for economic security. “Mostly selfish reasons,” he summarized. Upon reflecting further, however, he noted, “I also feel as if I have something to say about technology and monopoly power and unchecked corporate interests. They’ve always existed, but I think it has gotten worse. As I’ve gotten older, experienced fatherhood, and looked back on how fortunate I was to be born when I was born, to be born who I was, and some of my struggles as a young man, I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about young men who I think are struggling in our society, and I want to have a positive influence there. It’s a mixture of wanting to be influential for some good reasons and some less good reasons.” For Prof G, it is always about finding pathways to self-improvement and helping others through comparable journeys of self-discovery.

Today, Galloway seems ubiquitous: from his podcasts, Pivot and the Prof G pod, his venture backed ed-tech company, Section 4, Prof G Media, which produces not only his podcast, but a weekly newsletter, YouTube videos, and a column for New York magazine, he is in your ears or in front of your eyes in many forms. Add to that his propensity to publish a book every 12 to 18 months or so, and it can feel like he is everywhere. His latest book has just been released, and it is called Adrift: America in 100 Charts.

Many of the 100 charts paint a bleak picture as to the state of the union in the United States. Galloway makes the case that, just as in 1945 and 1980, America is once again a nation at a crossroads. Some sections of the book include titles such as “Idolatry of Innovators”, “Privatized R&D; Privatized Progress”, “The Hunger Games”, “From Lopsided to Dystopian”, “The Attention Economy”, “Political Censorship and Fake News”, and “House of Cards.” It seems at times that Galloway believes there is more wrong than right with America. He admits to being a glass is half empty kind of guy, but he forces himself to highlight silver linings in addition to noting the existential challenges that we face. “Whenever I really sit down and look at the data, I think there’s a lot of wonderful points of light,” said Galloway. “You can be a pessimist, but we have one in five households with kids were food insecure pre-pandemic. It went to 1 in 11. With a simple child tax credit, we were able to reduce child poverty by 50%. Now the bad news is we decided at the last minute to strip it out of the infrastructure bill, but the good news is I’m not sure any of us even thought we could reduce it by 50% in a year.”

Galloway also pushes us to view the challenges with more perspective. Though the issues of the day might seem insurmountable, they are not greater than challenges we have given ourselves and accomplished in the past. “50 years ago, we sent three men into space, a quarter of a million miles away, and figured out a way to land them on…we didn’t even know what they were landing on,” said Galloway. “Somehow, we got them there and figured out a way to get them back home alive. It just feels like these are enormous problems and they’re…mole hills compared to the Everest that we’ve climbed as the nation before. Taking any one in isolation, that’ll never happen.”

Galloway is fond of saying, “There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be solved with what is right with America.” He notes that at a time when 54% of Democrats are most worried about their kid marrying a Republican and a third of each party sees the members of the other party as their mortal enemy, there are moments of remarkable grace. “If you look at a sober analysis of how we got here, the skills we have, the capital we have, the innovation, the generosity that’s built into the DNA of Americans, the uptick in empathy,” there is reason for optimism, said Galloway. “The most wonderful chart in the book [highlights] that people all over the world universally, are spending more time helping people that they will never meet. Planting trees [creating] shade of which they will never sit under.”

Among the solutions he speaks most passionately about are the necessity for national service. The fact that our representatives in government are less likely to have served in the military than in past generations means that Democrats and Republicans do not have a shared bond of service. “[In the past, representatives] absolutely saw themselves as American first well ahead of Democrat or Republican,” said Galloway. He believes following the lead of a country like Israel, making national service a required right of passage would have the advantage of forging those bonds while creating a new generation of Americans who have that much more of a relationship to giving to their country. “I think national service and creating more connective tissues give kids a chance who are increasingly segregated, a chance to mix with other kids from different ethnic backgrounds, different income backgrounds before they even developed this crazy polarization around politics,” he noted.

Perhaps the most ironic analysis comes in his views on four-year universities, considering he is a professor at one, albeit at the graduate level, serving as a professor of Marketing at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He stresses that the pathway to upward mobility will increasingly come through community colleges and vocational schools, and he encourages the government to continue to fund these alternatives appropriately. “I think we need to stop fetishizing the traditional four-year degree from elite universities,” Galloway said. “There’s this pathway that every parent and kid is focused on, and we all track towards it. I’m tracking toward it with my kids that they need to get to MIT or an Ivy League School, and then up at Google or KKR, and anything diverging from that is a disappointment. It’s not only not true and it’s bad for the economy, and it creates an unbelievable emotional stress.”

A serial entrepreneur, Galloway’s latest foray has been Section 4, an ed-tech start up that provides “business education for builders, disrupters, doers, changemakers and builders.” This hands-on experience taught by top professors made enormous progress since its launch through the pandemic, where online training options were the best and often only option for many. During that period, Section 4 signed up 1,200 people per class, covering topics in the business core, leadership, marketing and product. “We knew we had wind in our sails, but we didn’t realize how much the winds would die down when COVID ended,” Galloway admitted. “That business is off, business was growing 70% a year. This year will probably be down 30% or 40% because nobody wants to be in their home staring at a screen and learning right now. That’s been tough.” As his start up goes through a rough patch, traditional higher education is as strong as ever. “Traditional education at an elite university has never been stronger, and I would argue it’s strong for the wrong reasons that we’ve embraced this LVMH, rejectionist, NIMBY model,” Galloway noted. “We artificially constrain supply such that we can grow or raise prices faster than inflation, constantly coming up with new departments and administrators that never go away.”

Galloway noted that UCLA, where he did his undergraduate studies, accepted three out of every four applicants when he applied. He believes that four years ago, universities were much more apt to attempt to lift up the unremarkable to make them remarkable. Now, only the already remarkable are the ones who get in, and plenty of them are rejected. “We’ve decided that we’re an Hermes bag, and we want to identify the top 1%, the freakishly remarkable and kids of rich people, and turn them into billionaires,” said Galloway. “I think we’ve absolutely lost the script in Higher Ed. The cartel is more corrupt than OPEC…I think we’re preying on the hopes and dreams of the middle class and leveraging this fetishization and this dictum where you have failed as parents if you don’t get your kid through a traditional four-year degree. I’m trying to do something about it, but at the same time, I continue to affiliate with NYU.” When asked how he squares this ironic position of being a chief critic of higher education, especially at elite universities, increasingly competing with them through his start up while also affiliating with one of the elites, he noted that he gains mightily through this affiliation. “It provides a halo of credibility,” Galloway noted. “I’ve been at NYU 20 years I’d like to be there another 10 or 20…I may not be because I say some provocative things. I’m not sure I’d be as patient with me as they are with me. I do bite the hand that feeds me. I’ve returned all my compensation for the last decade…they’re just incredibly flexible with me and I have wonderful friends there and there’s just no getting around it.”

Galloway’s influence grows as he masters multiple media. Whether he reaches his goal of being the most influential thought leader in business history remains to be seen, but he will be continue to be a great source of insight at the very least.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

719: Bill discusses his latest book True North: Leading Authentically in Today’s Workplace and why authentic leadership is crucial for success. Bill reflects on his upbringing, his time at Honeywell, and why he felt that joining Medtronic was the perfect move for him. He then talks about insights from his book including the importance of building strong relationships based on trust as a leader, why EQ is as important if not more than IQ, and the COACH framework he developed on organizing people. Bill then talks about the men’s group he has been a part of, how it helped orient and support him through his life, and why everyone should find an equally supportive group. Finally, Bill looks ahead at the future of hybrid work, gives advice for young leaders as we face major economic headwinds, and shares what have been the major keys to his career success.

Also available on YouTube:

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This episode is sponsored by Adyen.

709: Rich reflects on his career at the periodical and the insights he has gained on culture, politics, and the world of business. He talks about the recent Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore and debriefs Peter on the high-level takeaways about the foreign perspectives of the global economy, the trajectory of the U.S. economy, and anticipation of the Fed’s response. Rich also looks at his experiences in technology and how he has viewed the generational gap between understanding consumer technology and enterprise technology. Finally, Rich describes his view on entrepreneurship, the keys to his career success, and how he stays knowledgeable on a variety of topics.

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700: In this interview, we celebrate 700 episodes of Technovation with a special guest, author, thought leader, and NYU Stern Professor Scott Galloway. Scott shares his goal of becoming the most influential thought leader in the history of business, what that means to him, and how he is stretching his expertise as his brand has expanded into a variety of subject areas across media. Despite his tenure at NYU Stern, Scott has been a vocal critic of the traditional university education model. He explains the rationale behind this critique and what the future holds for education and training. Scott also talks about the broader societal problems that America is facing and while these problems are touted as insurmountable, he makes the case for why they can be easily addressed and solved by what America has to offer. Finally, Scott gives his perspective on the overvaluation of the Tech Giants, why the government has yet to step in, and what scenarios are likely to play out in the near future.

Pre-order Scott’s latest book Adrift: America in 100 Charts here:
https://www.amazon.com/Adrift-America-Charts-Scott-Galloway/dp/0593542401

Check out Scott’s podcast, newsletter, and other works on his website:
https://profgmedia.com/

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686: Dame Stephanie reflects on her storied career as an IT pioneer. After escaping Nazi Germany and arriving in the UK as a child, she went on to hold a series of influential positions in the technology industry. Dame Stephanie describes the trials and tribulations of starting a company as a woman in the 1960s, building client relationships as a woman-led business, and adopting an ahead-of-its-time approach to workplace flexibility. She also shares her passion for autism research, her role as a “venture philanthropist,” in the space, and progress made in developing an autism treatment. Finally, Dame Stephanie discusses her memoir, Let It Go: My Extraordinary Story, and how she remains active and productive in the later years of her life.

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653: Fred covers the genesis of the Net Promoter Score and why customer-centricity should be every company’s focus. Fred talks about the lessons he learned when spending time with CEOs of customer-focused companies and how they relate to his metric for measuring customer lives enriched. He covers the common ways that NPS has been misused, practices that NPS has led to remarkable success, and how this holds true for even digital native companies. He also discusses the employee side of the equation as it relates to recruiting talent, enriching employee lives, and fostering greater degrees of customer-centricity across the organization. Finally, Fred hones in on why the nuance of enriching a customer’s life is an important distinction to enriching a company’s outputs.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

646: Mark discusses the thesis behind his book, The Cloud Revolution, and how his previous book, Digital Cathedrals, acts as a predicate. Mark covers the rhyming political, social, and technological dynamics between the 1918-1920 Pandemic and the present and how the three spheres of technology; information, materials, and machines; have intersected over the years to bring about revolutions. Finally, Mark looks ahead at how technology is changing employment, the necessary retraining that arises, and what will define the winners in the Roaring 2020s.

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This episode is sponsored by Cisco and Zoho.

         

645: Stanley covers his latest book, Risk: A User’s Guide, and discusses the way people should be assessing, calculating, and acting on risks an organization faces. He begins by defining what risk is, ten risk control factors used to evaluate risk, and why humans are naturally poor at calculating risk. Stanley discusses the necessity of having a narrative that aligns with the values set forth by the organization and ties this into the U.S.’s foreign policy. Finally, Stanley gives his perspective on the current war in Ukraine, the risk each party faces, and what constitutes a good decision. This broadcast was recorded in front of a live audience.

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This episode is sponsored by Cisco.

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